Kareem Abdul-Jabbar‘s collection of memorabilia from his Hall of Fame career fetched nearly $3 million at auction on Sunday.
Abdul-Jabbar put 234 lots of memorabilia — including four of his six NBA championship rings — for sale through Goldin Auctions, with “much of the proceeds” going to his Skyhook Foundation charity that helps kids learn about science, technology, engineering and math.
The items sold for $2,947,872.25.
The rings commemorating the Los Angeles Lakers‘ titles in the 1980s, which had starting bids of $60,000 to $65,000, accounted for four of the five highest sales at the auction’s close. Abdul-Jabbar’s 1987 ring sold for the most, at $398,937.50, followed by his ring from 1985 ($343,700). His 1980 and 1988 rings went for $245,500 each.
The other highest-priced item, a signed ball from his final regular-season NBA game in 1989, sold for $270,050.
Also selling for six figures were three of Abdul-Jabbar’s six MVP trophies — from 1972, 1974 and 1976 — which sold for more than $120,000 each.
“When it comes to choosing between storing a championship ring or trophy in a room or providing kids with an opportunity to change their lives, the choice is pretty simple: Sell it all,” Abdul-Jabbar wrote last year about why he’s auctioning off valuables from his sports history.
“Looking back on what I have done with my life, instead of gazing at the sparkle of jewels or gold plating celebrating something I did a long time ago, I’d rather look into the delighted face of a child holding their first caterpillar and think about what I might be doing for their future. That’s a history that has no price.”
Abdul-Jabbar, 71, wrote that he’s “on a solid financial path” and was not selling the items due to money trouble.
Only nine of the lots failed to sell, and those were mostly plaques and proclamations that had been presented to Abdul-Jabbar well after his playing career, as well as the key to the city of Beckley, West Virginia.