Charles Barkley is giving back to his hometown of Leeds, Alabama, and he’s selling some of his personal items to help.
Barkley recently told WJOX 94.5 that he wants to partner with the city to provide affordable housing. To raise funds, he’ll sell his NBA MVP trophy, as well as his personal memorabilia from the 1992 Men’s USA Olympic Basketball team.
“We probably got 30 eyesores, as I call them, where houses used to be when I was growing up, either a rotted-out house or there’s just weeds that have overgrown,” Barkley explained. “So what I’m trying to do, I want to work with the city of Leeds. I want them to give me the spaces, number one. I want them to give me the houses, and I’m going to use my own money selling my memorabilia.”
“I want to do something really nice for Leeds, and if I could build 10 to 20 affordable houses — I want to do green housing too — if I could sell all that stuff, it would just be a really cool thing for me,” he added.
The only item Barkley has said he won’t sell is his 1992 Olympic gold medal from when he played alongside other legendary players such as Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Patrick Ewing, Scottie Pippen and David Robinson. Barkley said his daughter wants the medal, but everything else of value will be put up for sale.
“I got an autograph deal with Panini, and I was talking to the guys, ’cause all that stuff is at my grandmother’s house. I don’t even keep it to be honest with you,” he explained.
“I said, ‘How much could I get for my MVP trophy and my two gold medals? And I got an autographed plaque signed by the first original Dream Team,'” added Barkley. “He says, ‘Oh I can get you a lot of money for that stuff.'”
Barkley’s act could be compared to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who in 2019 put up the championship rings he won with the Los Angeles Lakers for auction, as well as other pieces from his personal memorabilia collection.
The proceeds were given to Jabbar’s Skyhook Foundation, which, according to its website, brings “Educational STEM opportunities to underserved communities.”