Rare Michael Jordan High School Prom Photo Scores Thousands At Auction

Michael Jordan has always been a popular figure in the hobby, and rightfully so. Collectors have poured millions into game-worn jerseys, sneakers and autographed cards. But an interesting item recently sold for thousands at Robert Edward Auctions — Jordan’s high school prom photograph.

One collector thought the 1981 Type 1 high school prom photo of a young MJ and his date was such a slam dunk they paid $3,960 for it. For those unfamiliar with Type 1 photos, they “were developed from the original negative within two years of when the picture was taken,” states Collectable.com.

1981 Type 1 Michael Jordan High School Prom Photo
1981 Type 1 Michael Jordan High School Prom Photo. (credit: Robert Edward Auctions)

“Exceptionally rare and unique original photograph of Michael Jordan, circa 1981. Jordan is pictured posing with his high school prom date. Jordan is an alum of Emsley A. Laney High School in Wilmington, North Carolina. While Jordan would become a heavily photographed figure in the world of sports, both as a collegiate athlete at the University of North Carolina and as a future Hall of Famer with the Chicago Bulls, early images are few and far between for Jordan. This image also represents one of the few personal, non-basketball mementos we can ever recall becoming available,” Robert Edward Auctions wrote in the description lot.

Brian Dwyer, president of Robert Edward Auctions, was right on the money when he previously told The Athletic he thought the Jordan prom photo would sell between $3,000 to $5,000.

“The photograph was consigned by a longtime collector who acquired it from another serious Jordan collector who had it for more than 20 years,” said Dwyer. “While the image of Jordan at his prom has been seen online, this is the only time the original photograph has been made available for sale, to the best of our knowledge.”

Another one-of-a-kind piece of Jordan memorabilia that sold during the Spring 2024 auction was his signed game-worn Nike Air Ship rookie sneakers. Jordan wore these sneakers during the first part of his 1984-85 rookie season with the Chicago Bulls before switching over to the iconic Air Jordans.

Michael Jordan Nike Air Ships
Michael Jordan Nike Air Ship. (credit: Robert Edward Auctions)

“He officially debuted his signature sneaker, the Air Jordan 1, on November 17, 1984, in a game against the Philadelphia 76ers. After rotating his footwear for a little over a month, Jordan began exclusively wearing Air Jordan 1s on December 20. Under this timeline, it is possible Jordan wore this pair of Nike Air Ships on either November 7 (Jordan’s sixth NBA game) or December 12 (Jordan’s 24th NBA game), the dates of the only two road games in which the Bulls faced off against the Pistons before Jordan’s permanent footwear switch. Jordan played well in both, scoring 25 points in the first contest and 21 in the second,” Robert Edward Auctions wrote in the description lot.

These rare shoes scored $282,000 at auction.

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