The starting bid was $25,000, but finally, the jersey was sold to a buyer who wishes to remain anonymous for a whopping $120,000.
A high school basketball jersey, once worn by former US President Barack Obama went up for auction in Dallas over the weekend, reports CNN. As expected, it was the most popular item at the auction and was sold to a buyer for a whopping $120,000, who wishes to remain anonymous.
Obama, who is a known fan of the sport, is said to have worn the jersey, which is white and says "Punahou" and "23" on the front in blue lettering during his senior year at Punahou School in Honolulu when he was a member of the 1979 Hawaii State Champion boys' varsity basketball team. He loved the game so much that he'd even host pickup games while in office.
He's been a familiar face at a number of NBA games and he was even present when Duke University phenom Zion Williamson's shoe burst during a game against the University of North Carolina in February.
The interesting thing about this jersey is that it wouldn't have seen the light of day and would've simply been discarded if it weren't for fellow Punahou alum Peter Noble.
Noble was Obama's junior by three years, and he too wore the same number 23 when he was a member of the junior varsity team. Of course, when the jersey was put up for auction, the letterings were faded and the pristine white jersey was stained, but it was expected to rake in some money.
The starting bid was $25,000, but Heritage Auctions, expected the garment to sell for at least $100,000 when the bidding happened on August 17. Well, it did go for much more than that!
As the story goes, Noble had no idea that the jersey belonged to Obama until he was elected President. Noble then saw in a sports magazine that he had worn 23, the same jersey that Noble had.
Did you know that Obama remains the only American president to have participated in a team sport while serving in the White House? Heritage Auctions say these games were no casual affair, either.
A basketball jersey believed to have been worn by former President Obama at a Honolulu prep school was auctioned for $120,000 in Dallas this weekend, AP reports. Obama wore the No. 23 jersey while a guard on the 1979 Hawaii state championship team. 😎 pic.twitter.com/qMeF61KrO7— Rachel Roh (@RachelRoh) August 19, 2019
Earlier this year it was announced that Obama will be working in tandem with the National Basketball Association to develop a twelve-team league in Africa, a project certain to pay huge dividends to the future game, but also a means to increase prosperity throughout the continent with the multitude of off-court opportunities such a league would provide, the description on the auction website read.
Obama also tweeted: I've always loved basketball because it's about building a team that's equal to more than the sum of its parts. Glad to see this expansion into Africa because for a rising continent, this can be about a lot more than what happens on the court.
A portion of the proceedings will go to the school, but included in the lot is Noble's yearbook from Obama's senior year, including a playground shot of the future President he labeled, "We go play hoop."
But the key point of interest within this volume is on page 104, a photo captioned, "Barry Obama goes up for a basket against St. Louis." The jersey he wears in that photograph is the offered lot.
Eric Bradley, a spokesman for Heritage Auctions, said bidding was extremely competitive, with the lot receiving 27 bids, far above the seven or eight bids most lots receive. Of course, everyone would love to have a piece of America's beloved President.
Also, the jersey's price beat the winning bid for a dual signed photograph of baseball legends Ty Cobb and Babe Ruth, the only one of its kind known to exist. That lot sold for $111,000, and the auction house had expected it to be the top bid in the auction.