By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher
Basketball legend Kobe Bryant had his high school jersey recently returned. The jersey was stolen more than two-years ago.
The jersey in question was stole from Lower Merion High School near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The jersey then was sold, according to the report, to a Chinese super fan of Bryant.
ESPN’s Dave McMenamin spoke with Liu Zhue, 28, after he had purchased the jersey last October. He reportedly bought the jersey for $2,000 from an online seller.
Zhue — who has a Kobe Bryant collection — noticed that the jersey was similar to the one from the reports. After realizing it was the same jersey, Zhue offered to return it.
He thought he could give it to Bryant in person during the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup this weekend in Shenzhen, China. Instead of doing that, Zhue elected to mail the jersey back to Pennsylvania without meeting his ideal in person.
“I hope Kobe can know the news before he comes to China,” Lui said.
Of the jersey in question, Bryant never wore it during his standout high school career. It was one of 10 replicas was that made after the school retired his No. 33.
When the jersey was stolen by thief or thieves, the criminal also stole five pairs of Bryant’s Nike shoes. The person or persons also stole the 1996 State Championship trophy.
Still to this day, the shoes and the trophy has not been located. Yet, security caught two individuals breaking into the school at the time of the incident.
The investigation is still ongoing. The Lower Merion Police Department is working with Zhue, as well, for as much information on the unknown seller to trace the person.
“We’d love to know what happens to the other items too, but just the fact that someone, when they realized what they had, was willing to send it back and do the right thing was a very welcome turn of events,” Lower Merion assistant coach Doug Young said. “We’re very excited to have the jersey back in its appropriate place.”
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