Golfer Justin Thomas is auctioning off custom wedges he used to pay tribute to late NBA legend Kobe Bryant, and proceeds from the sale will go to the other families of those who died in the fatal Jan. 26 helicopter crash.
The 26-year-old golfer from Kentucky used the wedges during the Waste Management Phoenix Open last week, and each of them are branded with a slogan in honor of Bryant: “81 points,” “Kobe Bean Bryant,” “Black Mamba,” and “Mamba Mentality.”
Thomas is a noted fan of Bryant and called him an “idol” in a post on Instagram following news of the tragedy.
“RIP, Mamba. You will forever be an idol to me,” he wrote in the caption of a picture of Bryant after he secured his third straight NBA championship in 2002.
During the Phoenix Open, Thomas even wore Bryant’s No. 33 high school jersey while playing at the 16th hole.
“He had such an impact on me and he was such a person that I looked up to and tried to kind of have my mental approach like that,” Thomas told ESPN during the tournament.
“I felt like it was very fitting,” he continued. “There’s only one tournament all year where you can put a jersey on and hit a shot. Just the timing worked out to be here, so it was a no-brainer for me.”
Thomas announced the auction on Thursday in a post to social media.
“The proceeds will be going to the MambaOnThree Fund, which exists to honor and support loved ones of the seven other victims involved in the tragedy that occurred on January 26, 2020. All donations to the Fund will be directed to their families,” he added.
Fans have until Feb. 19 to make a bid by visiting the auction’s page at Charity Buzz. The current bid as of Friday afternoon is $10,500.