Two basketball vests – one worn by the NBA superstar Michael Jordan and the other by former US president Barack Obama – sold for record sums at a Los Angeles auction on Friday (December 4).

Jordan’s number 23 vest, which he wore when he signed for the Chicago Bulls in 1984, sold for $320,000 (£235,000).

Mr Obama’s vest, worn with his Punahou School team, went for $192,000 – a record for a high-school sports shirt.

Last year, another one of his high-school vests fetched $120,000.

Julien’s Auctions in Beverly Hills said Mr Obama wore his shirt – also number 23 – in 1979, when he helped his team win the Hawaii basketball state championship.

The ex-president’s love of the game has followed him through life. In his new memoir, A Promised Land, he said he had to stop coaching his daughter Sasha’s basketball team after parents from a rival team complained that he was giving them an unfair advantage.

Michael Jordan – the first billionaire athlete – was at the centre of the Chicago Bulls team that won six NBA championships in the 1990s. A documentary series, The Last Dance, about the team’s standout successes was a hit on Netflix earlier this year.

President Obama appeared as one of the show’s interviewees, saying: “Michael Jordan and the Bulls changed the culture.”

The previous record sum for a Jordan “number 23” shirt was $288,000 in an auction in July.

Also on sale in the latest auction was an autographed Cavaliers shirt worn by current NBA star Lebron James, which sold for $128,000, and an NFL football shirt worn by quarterback Colin Kapaernick, from his debut for the San Francisco 49ers.

Kapaernick’s shirt also sold for $128,000 – a new record for an NFL shirt.

In 2016, Kaepernick became a symbol in the fight against racial injustice when he kneeled in protest during the US national anthem.


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