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    Earliest known gamer from the tragic European superstar

    1983 Drazen Petrovic Yugoslavian National Team Game Worn Jersey.
    A key figure in the vanguard of European superstars crossing the Atlantic to make a new home in the NBA, Petrovic would supply six seasons of Hall of Fame-caliber service to the Portland Trail Blazers and New Jersey Nets before a terrible automobile accident stole his life at age twenty-eight. His number "3" jersey was retired in his honor by the Nets that year, and in 2002 he gained posthumous induction to the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame. In 2013, Petrovic was voted the best European basketball player in history by his FIBA EuroBasket peers.

    This humble garment finds the rising superstar at just eighteen years of age, competing as a representative of the Yugoslavian national team. It comes to Heritage from a fellow countryman who idolized Petrovic and wrote a letter to the President of Basketball Federation of Yugoslavia, Nebojsa Popovic, in 1986, to request a national team jersey as a souvenir, preferably that of his favorite player. Over a year later, a package arrived at our consignor's home, containing this fulfillment of his request.

    The cotton/poly blend gamer bears an "Adidas" manufacturer's label at interior collar with "Made in France" text, the nation where Petrovic wore the garment in Eurobasket Championship competition. A blue tackle twill number "4" appears on chest and verso, the former applied in smaller format beside the national crest of Yugoslavia. Solid game wear is evident.

    The style perfectly matches a Youtube video, viewable in our online listing, of a contest between Yugoslavia and Italy played on May 30, 1983 in Limoges, France. The game made international news for the crazy brawl that ensued after one of Petrovic' teammates punted an Italian's family jewels during a break in the action. Petrovic scored eight in the loss.

    This is just the second confirmed Petrovic gamer to appear on the hobby's major auction block in the past two decades, and the only example relating to European play. It's a seminal relic in the international trend that continues to enhance the National Basketball Association to this day. LOA from Heritage Auctions. Letter of provenance from consignor.

    Guide Value or Estimate: $10,000 - up.

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    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    February, 2017
    25th-26th Saturday-Sunday
    Internet/Mail Bids: 0
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,223

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