Collectors have the chance to secure a piece of hidden presidential history. Rally is set to sell 10,500 shares of Barack Obama’s 49th birthday game ball.
For the 44th President of the United States, basketball was always more than just a sport. As Barack Obama turned 49 in 2010, he took advantage of his presidential power to assemble a pickup basketball game to remember.
On Aug. 4 of that year, Obama organized a game just a few minutes from the White House at Fort McNair. His teammates? LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Magic Johnson, and Carmelo Anthony. Dwyane Wade, Derrick Rose, Bill Russell, and Maya Moore were also present.
Media members tasked with covering POTUS’s every move were directed to wait in vans outside the building. White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs reportedly told the beat reporters that Obama “just wanted to play.”
While what went down in the gym avoided documentation, a key piece of the game lives on. That legendary group of five hoopers signed the game ball that day. Alternative asset company Rally announced Friday that it purchased that ball for $99,000 last week at Heritage Auctions’ winter sale. Rally said it’s selling 10,500 shares of the signed ball for $10 each with a market cap of $105,000, which will be exclusively available through the company’s app.
“This particular asset touches on two of our most popular categories on Rally: sports history and political memorabilia,” said Rob Petrozzo, Rally’s co-founder and chief product officer. “Our investors are always looking for the most unique assets in both of those categories, and along with this being a true 1-of-1 piece, this ball represents an incredible moment in contemporary culture.”
Obama has always loved basketball. He played on his high school team in Hawaii at the Punahou School, winning a state championship in 1979. That same year, Johnson entered the NBA and helped change the sport forever. Hoops became an escape as Obama moved from Columbia to Harvard and, eventually, to Washington.
Shortly after taking office, Obama had the White House tennis court adapted so it could support a full-court basketball game. During his eight years as president, Obama hosted a host of legends and dignitaries. But a game featuring four legends like that? It’s a once-in-a-lifetime moment — one that you can now own a piece of as part of this Rally IPO.
“You’d be hard-pressed to find any sitting president who could set up an impromptu pickup game with Hall of Famers from multiple generations,” Petrozzo said . “Our users really respect the greats, and each of the signatures on this ball individually represents some of the greatest to ever do it. Those signatures together, along with the stories about this legendary game and other on-the-court battles that went on during the Obama White House era make this asset one that will likely never be replicated.”