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Jordan UNC items up for auction

Four fascinating documents that trace Michael Jordan’s path from his high school days in Wilmington through college at North Carolina are being auctioned off.

Up for auction at New Jersey’s Goldin Auctions are Jordan’s diploma from when he graduated from North Carolina in 1986, a copy of his UNC academic transcript and recruiting letters from 1980 written by former Tar Heels coach Dean Smith and assistant coach Bill Guthridge when Jordan was a student at Wilmington’s Laney High.

Goldin Auctions founder Ken Goldin said he made certain that Jordan, now principle owner of the Charlotte Bobcats, was aware of the items being auctioned through his Washington-based attorney Rand Sacks.

The items were once hung on the wall of “Michael Jordan’s 23” restaurant in Chapel Hill, which closed in 2003. Ken Goldin, founder of the auction house, said the documents were stored in a locker that was purchased by a North Carolina man after the storage bill wasn’t paid.

Goldin said the recruiting letters were verified as genuine by authentication company PSA/DNA, a leader in the field. He said the diploma and transcript are original documents issued by UNC that only Jordan could have obtained.

The opening bid for the diploma is $7,500, with the transcript opening at $1,000. The Smith letter opened at $5,000; the Guthridge letter at $2,500.

In his letter, Smith thanks Jordan for his family’s hospitality on a recruiting visit. Guthridge, who addresses the letter to Mike Jordan, had seen Jordan play the previous night and was impressed with his performance.

Bidding continues through Feb. 7 at www.goldinauctions.com.

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