Winter 2014 Auction Closing Feb 7
This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on:
Offered is 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, NC.
At the time, Jordan was one of the most sought after high school athletes in decades and was entertaining offers from South Carolina, Duke, Virginia, Syracuse and University of North Carolina. Smith's letter compliments not only Jordan's tremendous athletic talent but also the leadership he showed while still in high school and his academic record. The UNC coach ends the personal letter with the thought: "Enjoyed seeing you, Michael, and hope that beginning in September 1981 I can be your coach". Dean Smith signs the letter in blue ballpoint (9/10). Hand written in blue ballpoint Smith has added a personal note to Jordan below his signature: "Michael - Have written A+T for Larry - DS".
Of course Michael Jordan did play for Dean Smith and UNC in 1981-1982 where he earned the ACC Freshman of the Year Award, and hit the game winning jumper in the 1982 NCAA Final. This is the actual letter which started Michael Jordan on his way to becoming MICHAEL JORDAN.
The letter was given to Framemakers in 1999 to be professionally framed for display at "Michael Jordan's 23" restaurant in Chapel Hill. As home to the University of North Carolina, such an important letter as this with such a solid link to the location, made this document especially appealing. After the closing of "23", the Jordan memorabilia on display was stored at a public storage facility and it is there that this item was obtained when the contents of the storage unit was purchased at public auction. Four historic documents were included, with the other three documents being offered as Lot 6, 8 and 9 in this catalog. The original 11 3/4" x 14 1/4" metal frame shows wear and scuffs from many years of storage, but the letter and matte have been well-protected by the original glass. Despite the wear on the frame and to preserve the integrity and provenance of the item, it remains in its original form as it was displayed at 'Jordan's 23'. The official UNC letterhead is in the university's colors of blue and white, and the letter is printed in matching UNC blue ink. As a letter, it has three folds from when it was originally mailed to Jordan and his family in 1980. The frame's back has the original "Framemakers" label attached (Framemakers is the acknowledged specialists in framing UNC diplomas for generations of Chapel Hill graduates).
This is one of the single most important basketball documents that will ever come to market, the actual beginning of the national basketball stage for greatest man to ever lace up the sneakers. Full Letter of Authenticity from PSA/DNA. Notarized Letter of Authenticity from JSA.
For good measure, an LOA from SGC has also been obtained on this important, historic document.
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