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Orange County Register (California)
Several pieces of Kobe Bryant memorabilia were stolen on Sunday night from what Lower Merion High called "The Kobe Showcase" at his alma mater in Ardmore, Pa. The items included a framed replica of his No. 33 jersey, the Aces' 1996 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 from the former Lakers star.
Lower Merion police are examining surveillance footage inside and outside the school for possible leads. Lower Merion officals also notified Bryant and his representatives of the incident.
"It's pretty heartbreaking," Lower Merion spokesman Doug Young said in a phone interview. "Mostly these are items of nostalgia; it's not so much the monetary value. They represent an exciting and memorable time for all of us."
In an email written to parents of Lower Merion High students, Principal Sean Hughes and Athletics Director Don Walsh wrote they were saddened and angered about the incident before expressing relief that no one was harmed.
"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," the email said. "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."
Bryant led Lower Merion to its first state title in 53 years and broke Wilt Chamberlain's Southeastern Pennsylvania high school scoring record (2,883 to 2,252). Bryant, who donated $500,000 to his alma mater in 2010 to refurbish its gym, has often credited his time in Lower Merion for helping shape his game as a young player.
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