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Kobe Bryant gives shirt off back for youth fishing program

March 10, 2009 | 12:13 pm


Kobe Bryant isn't a fisherman but a jersey he signed and donated to the 976-TUNA Youth Fishing Program sold for $775 at last week's Fred Hall's Fishing Tackle and Boat Show at the Long Beach Convention Center.

During the show's five-day run, fishermen were able to bid on various items, including Los Angeles Lakers memorabilia. Former player and current assistant coach Brian Shaw, and ex-player Flynn Robinson, have been ambassadors for the program for the past several years.

976-TUNA founder Philip Friedman said about $10,000 was raised for a program that treats inner-city and disadvantaged children to saltwater fishing excursions.

The top Lakers item was an "MVP Canvass" featuring signed renditions and photographs of Bryant, Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Shaquille O'Neal.

Surprisingly, signed jerseys of Pau Gasol, Andrew Bynum and Derek Fisher received no bids. Jordan Farmar's jersey sold for $400.

About $4,000 was raised through a wheel-spin for a $5,000 diamond donated by Newport Jewelers. It was claimed by Ventura's Erika Simo.

-- Pete Thomas

Photo courtesy of 976-TUNA