Collector Shells Out $120,000 At Auction For Barack Obama’s High School Basketball Jersey
A basketball jersey thought to have been donned by former President Barack Obama just sold at an auction house for the staggering sum of $120,000.
According to The Boston Globe, the jersey was purchased Saturday night in Dallas by an American sports memorabilia collector who wished to remain anonymous.
The jersey was said to be worn by the 44th president during his time at a Honolulu, Hawaii, prep school. The person who offered the jersey for sale, Peter Noble, explained that he was three years behind Obama in high school and grabbed the jersey before it was thrown into the trash.
Noble, who lives in Seattle, Washington, seemingly didn’t know what he had until years later when he saw a photo of the former president donning the same number 23 jersey.
Heritage Auctions said Noble’s jersey matched the details of the jersey Obama wore in the old photo.
Noble said an undisclosed portion of the jersey sale’s proceeds will go to Punahou School.
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Obama was widely known during his time in office for his love of basketball. He also has an impressive history from his younger days when he played competitively.
According to USA Today, Obama played on Punahou’s junior varsity and varsity basketball teams in the late 1970s. In 1979, the team won a state championship.
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Former teammate Mark Bendix told NBC News just how skilled the former president was at the game, saying that he genuinely thought his high school buddy should have been a starter on the team.
“I loved his game,” Bendix said. “He had a pretty good shot and really handled the ball well.”
His former coach, Chris McLachlin, offered high praise for Obama’s hard work and consistent practice before, during, and after school.
“He would carry his books in one hand and his ball in the other,” he said. “He lived across the street from school and before classes he’d shoot baskets on the outside courts, then at lunch he’d shoot more baskets, then I’d have him for three hours, then he’d go home, eat supper, and then be outside again shooting baskets.”
Obama would later take his budding basketball career to Occidental College. His coach there, Mike Zinn, praised Obama’s athleticism, but pointed out that the left-handed former president wasn’t the best outside shooter.
“So if he got 10 points in a game, most of them were probably under the basket. He didn’t hit jump shots from 15 feet or anything like that,” Zinn said. “He was a good defender, definitely a good athlete.”