Two years after Kobe Bryant’s #33 jersey was stolen from a display case at Lower Merion High School, it has finally been returned.
According to reports, Bryant’s high school jersey surfaced in China after being purchased for $2,000 by Liu Zhe, a 28-year-old self-proclaimed Kobe fanatic.
Liu reportedly mailed the jersey back to the school last week, and it was later confirmed that the signature on the uniform was authentic.
“Liu, who proudly displays his Bryant memorabilia on his Instagram account, said he was contacted by an online seller looking to gauge Liu’s interest in the item. Liu told ESPN he paid approximately $2,000 for it, happy to add Bryant’s high school No. 33 to his collection full of Los Angeles Lakers uniforms — both the No. 8 and No. 24 versions — as well as Bryant’s No. 10 USA Basketball jersey.”
“However, after having the jersey in his possession, Liu said he realized the striking resemblance of his new memento to the framed Bryant jersey that was stolen back in 2017 along with Lower Merion’s 1996 PIAA Boys’ Basketball 4A State Championship trophy, Bryant’s Parade All-American plaque, as well as several game programs and five pairs of Bryant’s signature Nike sneakers done up in the Aces’ maroon and white color scheme.”
Kobe is set to visit Shenzhen, China, on Saturday to announce the draw for the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup. Liu is hoping the Lakers’ legend will be made aware of who helped return his stolen jersey.
“I hope Kobe can know the news before he comes to China,” Liu said, per ESPN.