The basketball jersey future U.S. President Barack Obama donned during his senior year of high school is projected to sell for as much as $200,000 at an auction in Beverly Hills next month.
According to Julien’s Auctions, Obama wore the Punahou School #23 basketball jersey in 1979, the year he helped his team win the Hawaii basketball state championship.
The auction house describes the jersey as a size 40 Rawlings-brand white mesh pullover with yellow and blue stripes, the Punahou School colors.
The winning bidder will also take home a copy of the 1979 Punahou school yearbook, featuring photographs of the president playing basketball in the jersey, according to the auction house.
The jersey will be auctioned off December 4 in Beverly Hills, California, alongside other sports memorabilia connected to star athletes like Michael Jordan (another player who wore the #23), Kobe Bryant and Colin Kaepernick.
Last year, another Obama high school jersey sold for $120,000 at auction.
“On the basketball court I could find a community of sorts, with an inner life all its own,” Obama wrote of his time on the basketball team in his 1995 memoir, Dreams From My Father. “It was there that I would make my closest white friends, on turf where blackness couldn’t be a disadvantage.”
In his new book released this week, A Promised Land, Obama divulged he briefly helped coach and run plays for his daughter Sasha’s basketball team, along with longtime White House aide Reggie Love. However, he decided to step back after parents of other student-athletes at Washington D.C.’s elite Sidwell Friends School complained that their children weren’t getting coaching time with the president. Obama wrote that Love jokingly said they “think being coached by [Obama] is something they can put on a Harvard application.”
Obama’s love of basketball continued far past his high school days. He famously nailed a three point shot during a 2008 campaign visit to Kuwait that was met with cheers from the American troops present. After his 2009 presidential inauguration, he had a White House tennis court revamped to allow for basketball games and was known to invite fellow politicians and visiting athletes to play him. He appears to have kept up his skills since leaving the White House: a clip of him sinking a perfect three-pointer in Michigan while on the campaign trail for President-Elect Joe Biden went viral last month.
Source: Forbes – Business