Bidding began this summer at $25,000.

By Emily Caron
August 20, 2019

Former President Barack Obama's high school basketball jersey was auctioned off this weekend in Dallas for a whopping $120,000 to a buyer who wanted to remain anonymous. The Punahou School jersey went for nearly five times the starting price, which was set at $25,000. 

A classmate of Obama's, Peter Noble, put the threads up for auction. Obama wore the jersey during his senior year at Punahou School in Honolulu as a member of the 1979 Hawaii State Champion boys' varsity basketball team. Noble was three years Obama's junior and wore the same No. 23 as a member of the junior varsity team, which is why he says he grabbed it before it was thrown out.

The auction house, Heritage Auctions, said Obama's jersey was "fortuitously rescued from being discarded when the new varsity jerseys arrived on campus only because our consignor Peter Noble, three years behind Obama at Punahou, had worn the same number '23' jersey while on the junior varsity team." While it can't be proven without a doubt that the jersey belonged to Obama, Heritage verified that the jersey's details matched the uniform that Obama wore as a teenager.

Eric Bradley, a spokesman for Heritage Auctions, told CNN that bidding was extremely competitive. 27 bids were placed for the former president's jersey, which is many more than the seven or eight bids most items receive.

Noble says a portion of the auction earnings will be donated back to the high school.

Obama shared his love for basketball with the world during his time as the 44th president of the United States (and one of many basketball players to sport No. 23). During his time in office, he filled out March Madness brackets and welcomed NCAA tournament and NBA Finals winners to the White House. Obama continues to regularly attend basketball games and was sitting courtside when Zion Williamson famously ripped through his shoe during the Duke-UNC rivalry last February. He also attended the Raptors' battle with the Warriors in Game 2 of the NBA Finals.

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