SCP Auctions is used to setting new industry records. In its most recent 2017 Fall Premier online auction, which closed Nov. 5, the industry leader established yet another new benchmark by selling Lew Alcindor’s 1966-67 game worn UCLA Bruins home jersey for $137,849. The previous auction record for a college gamer belonged to Christian Laettner’s 1992 Duke Blue Devils home jersey which sold for $119,500 in 2014. Alcindor, after posting perhaps the most successful college basketball career in history with three consecutive NCAA titles at UCLA under head coach John Wooden from 1967 to ’69 – tournaments in which he was named the Most Outstanding Player all three years – went on to lead the Milwaukee Bucks to the team’s only NBA title in just his second year in the league. A student of Islam, he would eventually change his name to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar the day after the Bucks swept the Baltimore Bullets to win the NBA title on April 30, 1971.
The record-setting jersey was worn by Alcindor during his first NCAA championship season. The First team All-American, after sitting out his freshman year under then-NCAA rules, dominated as a sophomore varsity starter, leading UCLA to a 30-0 record while averaging 29 points and 15.5 rebounds per game. His white durene jersey includes a straight cut tail and remains in remarkable condition. Of interesting note is the fact that during Alcindor’s freshman year (1965-66), the team wore jerseys with “BRUINS” spelled out across the front, but switched to the “UCLA” yellow on blue double tackle twill version in his sophomore year. The two-color lettering was exclusive to the 1966-67 season as the team switched to all-blue lettering the following year. Therefore, this is the one-year style worn exclusively by Alcindor and his teammates during the 1966-67 NCAA championship campaign.
The jersey was obtained in 1970 by a UCLA student who served a two-year stint as the Assistant Team Manager, working directly under Coach John Wooden. The individual received the jersey directly from the acting equipment manager. The lot included a letter of authenticity from MEARS Authentication Services with a perfect A10 grade. The buyer of the jersey wishes to remain anonymous at this time. The price includes a buyer’s premium. Full 2017 Fall Premier Auction results are available at www.scpauctions.com. -Terry Melia
The online bidding in SCP Auctions’ 2017 Fall Premier auction ended early Sunday morning with Lot #1 – an original 12-foot-tall, 1,800-pound “Rocky” bronze statue, one of two identical examples created by noted sculptor A. Thomas Schomberg for use in the 1982 film “Rocky III” – leading the way with a final realized price of $403,657. Next up was a rare 1966-67 UCLA home jersey worn by Basketball Hall of Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar when he was still known as Lew Alcindor during the first of his three NCAA title-winning seasons with the Bruins, which went for $137,849.
The bronze Rocky statue includes a large, engraved gold plaque on its base that reads in part: “ROCKY BALBOA Created in 1980 for the Movie ’Rocky III’ by A. Thomas Schomberg Edition #2/3.” A third copy of the Rocky Statue was created by Schomberg in 2006 and remains at the Schomberg Studios in Evergreen, Colorado.
Overall, the auction of 867 different lots brought in more than $3 million including the sale of Wilt Chamberlain’s 1971 Western Conference NBA All-Star game worn jersey for $121,304. Other top auction lots included Mel Ott’s 1948 New York Giants game worn manager’s uniform ($91,138); Michael Jordan’s 1984 dual signed and game worn Converse shoes (1 of 2 pairs) from Team USA’s gold medal run at the L.A. Summer Games ($88,644); a 1917-21 Ty Cobb H&B professional model game used bat ($75,320); John Wooden’s circa 1970’s UCLA worn coach’s jacket ($58,460); and a 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle #311 card graded EX MT 6 by PSA ($56,590). In June, SCP Auctions sold Jordan’s other pair of Converse shoes from the ’84 Games – the gold-medal-winning-game pair – for $190,373 to shatter the previous auction mark of $104,765 for game worn shoes.
The buyers of the items wish to remain anonymous at this time. All prices include a buyer’s premium. Full auction results are available at www.scpauctions.com. -Terry Melia
Few coaches in history have come close to the success of John Wooden, the late men’s basketball coach at UCLA. Nicknamed the “Wizard of Westwood” he produced 27 straight winning campaigns for the Bruins, compiling an incredible record of 620-147 (.808 winning percentage). As UCLA’s head coach he won 10 NCAA national championships in a 12-year period, including an unprecedented seven in a row from 1967 to ‘73. Within that time-frame, his teams won a record 88 straight games, which remains an NCAA basketball record. Not surprisingly, he was named national coach of the year six different times. SCP Auctions is proud to present Wooden’s circa 1970s UCLA Basketball Coach’s Jacket in its upcoming Spring Premier. Worn by Wooden during his later years at the helm, it’s a treasured piece of college basketball memorabilia from one of the greatest coaches in history. The auction begins April 8 and runs through April 25.
Many people may not be aware, but Wooden was quite an accomplished player himself long before assuming the coaching reigns. Born in Hall, Indiana in 1910, he became a play-making guard at nearby Martinsville High School and led the Artesians to three straight state championship games, losing as a sophomore and a senior but winning it all as a junior in 1927. After graduating in 1928, he attended Purdue University and became the first consensus three-time All-American in the history of college basketball. He helped the Boilermakers win a Helms Athletic Foundation National Championship in 1932, seven years before the birth of the NCAA Tournament. Wooden would eventually be named a member of the Basketball Hall of Fame as both a player (inducted in 1961) and as a coach (in 1973), the first person ever to be enshrined in both categories.