‘At Guard, No. 24 ... ‘

After 10 seasons as No. 8, Kobe Bryant will be No. 24 next season.

The Laker guard will return to the jersey number he wore early in high school at Lower Merion (Pa.). Bryant wore No. 33 as a senior in high school but will not do so with the Lakers because it was retired after Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s career.

Paperwork for the jersey change was sent to the NBA office six months ahead of the 2006-07 season, as per league guidelines. A league spokesman said the request would be granted. “He applied, it went through the appropriate channels and was approved,” spokesman Tim Frank said.

If a player changes his number, he cannot change it again for three years. Jim Jackson currently wears No. 24.

Bryant’s No. 8 jersey is the league’s fourth-highest seller, according to sales figures released last week by the NBA.