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    1930-32 John Wooden Game Worn Purdue Boilermakers Jersey, MEARS A9.

    Recent article about jersey in the Lafayette (IN) Journal & Courier.

    "The Wizard of Westwood" is widely considered the most important figure in the history of collegiate basketball, winning ten NCAA national championships during a twelve-season span (1964-75) as head coach of UCLA, a position he held for almost three decades. Part strategist, part philosopher, Wooden saw his influence spread far beyond the hardcourt, his legendary "Pyramid of Success" finding disciples across a vast array of human endeavor from sports to commerce and all points in between. His legacy lives on, eight years after his passing at age ninety-nine, as one of the great enablers of human excellence.

    Wooden's personal collection famously sold in a 2011 auction, where the jacket he wore throughout the majority of his UCLA coaching tenure commanded a winning bid of $183,500. But nowhere in Wooden's personal collection were any mementos of his own years between the white lines of a college hardcourt. In fact, there is no indication that any such relics exist in hands either public or private beyond the thrilling, ancient rarity we proudly present here.

    The heavy wool garment seems unimaginably uncomfortable today, but Wooden wore it to excellence under the guidance of another iconic college basketball coach, Ward "Piggy" Lambert, who likewise served nearly three decades in his role. Lambert's sole championship would come during Wooden's senior season of 1932, the year that Wooden became the first three-time consensus All-American in college basketball history.

    "Purdue" arches gently across the chest of the garment in white and navy felt, the same material which forms a diminutive number "13" on verso. Interior collar holds a local Louisville sporting goods supplier label, while lower center interior tail reveals "Sand Knit" manufacturing tagging. A combination of a scattering of small moth holes, a slight detachment of one of the front letters and light staining account for the single point lost in the MEARS evaluation.

    An included letter of provenance from our consignor reveals that his grandfather was friends with Wooden at Purdue, and that Wooden had once stayed at his family's farm in northern Indiana when the future Hall of Famer passed through town en route to the state high school basketball finals. LOA from MEARS, A9. LOA from Heritage Auctions. Letter of provenance from grandson of original recipient.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    May, 2018
    17th-18th Thursday-Friday
    Internet/Mail Bids: 42
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