Kobe Bryant Memorabilia Stolen From Lower Merion High School

But the joke might be on the thieves.

Photo by Michael Wa via Wikimedia Commons

Photo by Michael Wa via Wikimedia Commons

When most of us hear the phrase “Kobe case,” we think about those pesky sexual assault allegations against basketball star Kobe Bryant. But at Lower Merion High School, where Bryant famously played, the “Kobe case” is an actual display case containing all sorts of Kobe Bryant memorabilia. On Sunday night, thieves broke into the school and stole some of those items.

The Lower Merion Police Department confirms that an investigation into the theft is under way. Parents were notified of the caper on Monday morning.

According to an email sent to parents by Lower Merion High School principal Sean Hughes, the pilfered items include a framed Kobe Bryant high school jersey, a trophy, a net from a 1996 championship game, and signed Nike sneakers.

“It’s a real shame,” says one Lower Merion parent we spoke with. “Kobe was kind to give back to the school. There are people who come to the high school — nonstudent fans — just to see his gear.”

The thieves might be in for a bit of disappointment if their plan is to sell the memorabilia. The school says that the items are mostly nostalgic and not particularly valuable. It turns out that the jersey in question isn’t even one that he wore — it’s just a replica.

Police are reviewing surveillance footage from the school.

Below, the full email sent to parents:

I regret to inform you that last night thieves broke into our school and stole a number of items from the Kobe Bryant display case outside the Bryant Gymnasium. The items included Kobe’s framed high school jersey, the 1996 PIAA Boys Basketball State Championship trophy and net, programs from the state and district title games, a proclamation from the Pennsylvania State House honoring the 1996 team as well as several pairs of signed Nike sneakers. Local law enforcement is investigating the matter and is reviewing surveillance video from inside and outside the school in an aggressive effort to identify those responsible for this crime.

While the items from the case are not of significant monetary value, they do have a great deal of sentimental importance. They represent a wonderful time of accomplishment, unity and pride for our school community — the 1996 state championship — and celebrate an alumnus who has made lasting contributions to our school and the sports world. The “Kobe Case” has become a unique point of pride for our school and even a tourist attraction; many basketball fans from all over the world visit our school each year to take photos in front of the display and leave even more impressed by the warmth, kindness and spirit of LM students and staff.

We are saddened and angered that our school has been vandalized, but we are grateful that no one was harmed during the incident last night. Material items can be replaced and we will make every effort to restore and even enhance the contents of the case with the help of alumni and friends. And even if we cannot replace all the items, the moments that produced them are still very much alive in our memories and honored through the ongoing traditions of Aces Nation.

If for any reason you may have information related to this incident, please contact us or the Lower Merion police. Thank you for your consideration and support.


Sean Hughes

Don Walsh
Director of Athletics & Activities

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