Barack Obama’s high school basketball championship jersey sold for $120k

Francis Akhalbey August 21, 2019
Obama as a member of the junior varsity basketball team at Punahou School in 1977 -- Photo Credit: Seth Poppe / Yearbook Library

It appears Barack Obama made number 23 famous before Michael Jordan.

A high school basketball jersey the ex-president of the United States wore was sold for $120,000 at an auction in Dallas over the weekend.

According to CNN, the highly coveted game-worn jersey, which was copped by an anonymous buyer was donned by Obama when he played for Punahou School in Honolulu during his senior year in 1979.

Almost binned, the jersey was salvaged by Obama’s former schoolmate and three-year junior Peter Noble, who also played for the junior varsity team and wore the same number (23) as the former president. He discovered the jersey belonged to Obama after he saw a Sports Illustrated feature on the then elected president revealing he wore number 23 when he was on the team, CNN further reports.

Basketball Collectibles:Others, 1978-79 President Barack Obama Game Worn Punahou (HI) High SchoolBasketball Jersey....
1978-79 President Barack Obama Game Worn Punahou (HI) High School Basketball Jersey — Photo via Heritage Auctions

Though it hasn’t been entirely proven that the jersey was worn by Obama, who played as point guard and was part of the 1979 state championship-winning team, CBS Sports reports that the auction house, Heritage House confirmed “the jersey’s details matched the uniform that Obama wore as a teenager.”

Put up for auction by Noble, the opening bid for the jersey was $25,000. A portion of the funds received from the sale will be donated to the school, CBS Sports further reports.

An avid basketball fan, Obama occasionally shot some hoops with staff at the White House when he was president.

File:Barack Obama playing basketball with members of Congress and Cabinet secretaries 2.jpg
President Barack Obama takes a shot during a game with Cabinet secretaries and members of Congress on the White House basketball court, Oct. 8, 2009 — Photo Credit: The Official White House Photostream

After the launch of the Basketball Africa League (BAL) early this year, reports indicated he is likely to have a role in the new league, which is set to commence in 2020.

“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,” he tweeted about the BAL.

Just recently, he attended game 2 of the NBA finals between eventual champions Toronto Raptors and the Golden State Warriors at the Scotiabank Arena in Toronto.

Barack Obama’s high school basketball championship jersey sold for $120k
Obama being led to the stands by the Toronto Raptors president of basketball operations and the first African executive in the NBA Masai Ujiri — Photo via @raptors on Instagram

Prior to the game, he praised both teams for their hard work and style of play.

“Both teams play like teams. So their superstars are unselfish and just want results,” he said, according to The Washington Post. “Lesson Two is both teams draw from talent that is unexpected and international. … If you don’t know where the talent’s going to be, you have to give opportunity to everybody.”

Last Edited by:Ismail Akwei Updated: August 21, 2019


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