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Vin Baker’s gold medal from 2000 Olympics set for auction

Vin Baker

Retired NBA All-Star Vin Baker‘s Olympic gold medal from Sydney 2000 is hitting the auction block.

The minimum bid on the Grey Flannel Auctions website is $35,000. Bidding is scheduled to open Tuesday. That may be ambitious, since Carmelo Anthony‘s bronze medal from Athens 2004 sold for less than half that earlier this month.

Baker, then 28, averaged 8 points per game during the U.S.’ perfect run to the Sydney Olympic basketball title. The Americans squeaked past Lithuania 85-83 in the semifinals -- an omen for defeats at the next Games in Athens -- and beat France 85-75 in the final.

Here’s how the Denver Post reported Baker at the gold-medal game:

“It was just a tremendous feeling, the best moment I’ve ever had as a basketball player,” Vin Baker said, tears falling from his eyes as he recalled the moment he received his gold medal. “This wasn’t an easy journey for us.”

He was the lesser accomplished center on the roster, having played in four All-Star Games with no All-NBA first team appearances. The U.S. also boasted Alonzo Mourning.

Baker recovered from alcoholism and became a youth minister in New York, according to the New York Daily News last year. He joined Dennis Rodman on a North Korean basketball trip earlier this year.

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