In the 2014 Goldin Auctions Winter Auction, collectors will have the opportunity to own four pieces of Michael Jordan college memorabilia that are truly rare and unique, including his University of North Carolina diploma, recruiting letters from UNC Head Coach Dean Smith and Assistant Coach Bill Guthridge and an original copy of Jordan's UNC undergraduate academic record.
These items, as well as more than 1,100 other lots are open for bidding through Feb. 7, 2014 at www.GoldinAuctions.com.
"Michael Jordan was more than a basketball player. Both on and off the court he was a ground breaking athlete, celebrity and marketer and as a result he is one of the most collected athletes of all-time," said Ken Goldin, founder of Goldin Auctions. "As a result of his popularity, Jordan autographs, and game worn memorabilia are plentiful. So it's truly special when rare and historic Jordan artifacts like this are made available."
The path that the memorabilia took to arrive at auction is just as unlikely as Jordan's ascension to greatness. Michael Jordan's restaurant in Chapel Hill, aptly named "23" was decorated with a wide assortment of memorabilia including many items provided by Jordan. When the restaurant closed, the memorabilia and other items from the restaurant were stored at a public storage facility. Amazingly, the memorabilia was obtained when the contents of the storage unit were purchased at public auction.
Here's a look at some of the most collectible and unique items being offered in the 2014 Goldin Auctions Winter Auction. For more details, to register for the auction or receive a free catalog, visit www.GoldinAuctions.com:
The Michael Jordan Collection
Lot #6: Michael Jordan's University of North Carolina Diploma - Many know that Michael Jordan left school a year early to enter the NBA draft, what many do not know is that while many athletes of Jordan's talent would have abandoned their college education and never looked back, Michael returned to Chapel Hill and finished the courses for his cultural geography degree in 1986. To keep the document's original appearance and chain of ownership intact, the diploma is still framed and matted as it originally was when displayed at Jordan's restaurant. Through the office of the registrar at UNC-Chapel Hill, Goldin Auctions has confirmed this is an original document and could only be obtained by the actual student.
Lot #7: Michael Jordan's 1980 University of North Carolina Recruiting Letter from Dean Smith – Perhaps the most important recruiting letter ever written by a head coach in the history of college basketball. In this extraordinary letter, dated "August 12, 1980", UNC's Dean Smith thanks Michael Jordan and his family for their hospitality on a recent recruiting visit to their home in Wilmington, N.C., and signs the personal letter with the thought: "Enjoyed seeing you, Michael, and hope that beginning in September 1981 I can be your coach". Jordan chose to attend UNC where he did play for Smith and just a year later won ACC Freshman of the Year and the National Championship.
Lot #8: Michael Jordan's 1980 University of North Carolina Recruiting Letter from Bill Guthridge (The Jordan Recruitment Begins!) - This momentous February 1980 letter marks the University of North Carolina's first contact with high school phenom Michael Jordan. The letter, dated February 19, 1980, printed on UNC's official blue and white letterhead, was composed by assistant coach (and eventual Dean Smith successor) Bill Guthridge after having seen Jordan play the evening before against Hoggard High. The letter compliments the junior, stating he has an outstanding future ahead of him and invites him to Chapel Hill's basketball summer camp.
Lot #9: Michael Jordan's University of North Carolina Undergraduate Academic Record - The page lists all 45 classes Jordan took in pursuit of his undergraduate degree with courses that include everything from "Elementary Portuguese" and "Beginning Tennis" in his freshman year to "Map Interpretation" and "Changing Human Environment" in his senior year.
Lot #5: 1992 Michael Jordan USA Olympic Dream Team Game Used and Signed Full Uniform - The 1992 USA Olympic Basketball team may be one of the most dominating teams ever assembled in the history of sports; on their way to winning the Gold Medal, the Dream Team went 6-0 and outscored their opponents by 309 points. At the heart and soul of the American juggernaut was the NBA's greatest player, Michael Jordan and this is Mike's game used Dream Team road uniform. Letter of Authenticity from JSA, PSA/DNA, MEARS, and an LOA from the Basketball Hall of Fame. This item is not part of the 23 Restaurant Collection.