Police in Ardmore, Pa., are investigating a break-in and theft at Kobe Bryant’s alma mater, Lower Merion High School.
Philly Mag reports that thieves broke into Lower Merion on Sunday and absconded with Bryant-related memorabilia including the star’s signed Nike sneakers, high school jersey, a trophy, and a basketball net from a 1996 championship game.
The items were stored in a display case known as the “Kobe Case,” according to an email sent to parents from Lower Merion principal Sean Hughes and director of athletics and activities Don Walsh.
“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 email reads. “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 Lower Merion students and staff.”
While the thieves may have believed they were getting away with valuable merchandise, the school says that many of the items were actually replicas that held more nostalgic value than monetary worth.
“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,” said Hughes and Walsh.