2022 SPRING PREMIER AUCTION

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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 6/5/2022

During the nine seasons of its existence, the American Basketball Association redefined the way the game was played. Founded in 1967, the ABA immediately differentiated itself from the stuffy NBA with its flash style of play which included the three-point field goal arc and a 30-second shot clock. The ABA went so far as to introduce the now-famous red, white, and blue ball as well as eye-catching uniforms with wildly creative logos.

One of the ABA’s cornerstone franchises was the Kentucky Colonels, with much of their success due to their star center, Artis Gilmore. Drafted out of Jacksonville University in 1971, the 7' 2" force, better known as “The A-Train,” quickly established himself as a superstar. In his first season in Louisville, Gilmore won both the ABA’s Rookie of the Year and the league’s MVP award. The A-Train led the Colonels to the playoffs every season with the team, but it wasn’t until the 1974-75 season that Kentucky won their first and only ABA Championship thanks as Gilmore was named Playoffs MVP. Gilmore was incredibly dominant throughout his five-year ABA tenure, making the All-Star team every year and the All-Defensive team four times. He would also go on to become a six-time NBA All-Star as well. The dominance and impact that Gilmore had on the ABA and NBA cannot be overstated. He also went on to earn the honors of being named to the 1970’s All-Decade team. (On that note, this jersey has also been photo matched his National Treasures 1970’s All-Decade Team card.)

Even though Kentucky was arguably the ABA’s strongest franchise in both talent and fan support, the Colonels were disbanded when the two leagues merged. The reason for this was Artis Gilmore, their star center. Back in 1971 Gilmore was drafted by both the ABA Louisville Colonels and the NBA Chicago Bulls. Gilmore chose the ABA, but the Bulls still claimed any NBA rights over him. Thus, when the two leagues merged in 1976, the Bulls made sure the Colonels were one of the two ABA franchises that were disbanded, giving the Bulls the exclusive rights to Gilmore. He would go on to play through 1988 and earn himself a place in the Basketball Hall of Fame.

This Kentucky Colonels home jersey was worn by Artis Gilmore and dates to his 1975-76 campaign, the ABA's final season before the merger, when A-Train averaged 24.6 points, a league-leading 15.5 rebounds, and 2.4 blocks per game. Sports Investors provides details for a conclusive photo-match during that season when the Colonels switched from knit to mesh fabric on their uniforms. The white mesh jersey sports "Colonels" above Gilmore’s number “53” on the front in red and blue tackle twill. The neck, arm openings and sides are trimmed in red and blue, and a Rawlings size 42 label with a “6” longer” hang tag is sewn on the lower right tail. The back features “Gilmore” arched above his “53” in red and blue tackle twill. The jersey shows solid game use with even toning to the white mesh from age and puckering to the tackle twill graphics from laundering. There are several stains throughout, most noticeably on the “3” on the back and to the left of the “5” on the front. A rare and incredible piece of ABA history from one of the league’s legends. This jersey has been graded A10 by MEARS and photo-matched by Resolution and Sports Investors with corresponding paperwork from each.

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Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $2,000
Final prices include buyers premium.: $10,038
Number Bids:15
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