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    The first high school player to jump directly to the pros

    1974-75 Moses Malone Game Worn Utah Stars (ABA) Rookie Jersey, MEARS A10. He was the first high school player to join a professional league, and the last active veteran of the American Basketball Association upon his 1995 NBA retirement. What came in between those special bookends was one of the greatest careers in the history of the sport, a protracted age of brilliance that earned Malone enshrinement at the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and inclusion within the even more discriminating list of the NBA's 50 Greatest Players.

    This thrilling garment found a nineteen-year old Malone at the very start of his twenty-one season professional career, as a rookie for a Utah Stars team that hoped the high profile signing might rescue the franchise from looming bankruptcy. While the on-court fortunes of the team improved measurably with the addition of the preternaturally talented youngster, the team continued to founder beneath a sea of red ink, and the Stars were dropped by the ABA for failing to meet payroll in December of 1975. Malone was one of several players dealt to the Spirits of St. Louis in a "going out of business" sale, ending his Stars service after just a single campaign.

    Today we see the silver lining of that dark cloud in the assurance that the presented jersey could only be a Malone rookie, establishing it as one of the most important and desirable ABA representations to surface within the collecting hobby. It instantly evokes the daring aesthetic of a league best remembered for towering afros, high-flying dunks and red, white and blue basketballs that served as perfect accessories to this patriotic format. "Stars 22" is screened to the chest of the white mesh garment beneath an unusual blue fabric application that snakes its way from right hip to left shoulder. "Malone" stands in three-inch red tackle twill block on rear nameplate above a screened number "22." Lower left front tail holds proper dual "Sand-Knit" tagging addressing Stars exclusivity and "Size 40."

    The experts at MEARS assess game wear as "heavy" and "consistent," speaking to an auspicious professional debut that saw the young center lead the league in offensive rebounds and trail only Artis Gilmore, Ron Boone and Dr. J in minutes played. It has been nearly two decades since this special relic was last sold at public auction, and it serves as one of the key entries of that early collection presented within this Platinum Night auction. LOA from MEARS, A10. LOA from Heritage Auctions.

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    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    July, 2015
    30th-31st Thursday-Friday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 15
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,818

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