NBA great Michael Jordan has sent a signed replacement jersey to a woman whose original one was stolen by looters from her family’s burned Wisconsin home.
The Dunn County (Wisc.) Sheriff’s Office reported Jordan’s good deed on its Facebook page on Tuesday.
The woman, now 28 and living in the Chicago area, was an an ailing 6-year-old girl in the 1990s when Jordan signed one of his red No. 45 Chicago Bulls jerseys for her. Jordan now owns the Charlotte Hornets.
Suzanne Valleau-Schiel told the (Minneapolis) StarTribune recently that her daughter, Kelsey Schiel, got the jersey autographed by Jordan at his Chicago restaurant in 1995. The Starlight Children’s Foundation arranged the meeting, she said.
Kelsey Schiel told the newspaper that Jordan even let her rub his head. He told her that teammate Scotty Pippen was the only other person he allowed to do that.
The home from which the jersey was stolen in October belongs to her grandfather, the StarTribune reported.
“It’s devastating to know that someone stole such an important item,” Kelsey Schiel told the newspaper. “I really hope that whoever has it realizes its importance and turns it in. We won’t ask questions; it’s just really special to me.”
On Tuesday, the Dunn County Sheriff’s Office said the jersey has yet to be recovered but that two men from Eau Claire have been jailed in the case. The men are in the Eau Claire County Jail on a probation hold while burglary charges have been forwarded to the Dunn County District Attorney’s Office.
In the early morning hours on Nov. 2, a family member arrived at the home and found two unknown males with a vehicle behind the residence. Asked what they were doing, they said they were “looting the house,” the sheriff’s office said in a previous Facebook post.
According to Valleau-Schiel, when the female family member asked the looters what they were doing, they replied, “The same thing you are. We’re looting,” the StarTribune reported.
When the woman said, “No, we’re family,” the intruders took off with what the sheriff’s office said was a garbage can full of items.
Anyone with information on the jersey’s whereabouts is asked to contact the Dunn County Sheriff’s Office at 715-232-1348 or anonymously at dunncocrimestoppers.com.