The Washington Wizards announced today that Gilbert Arenas has donated $25,000 to Wizards Care, the charitable arm of the Washington Wizards, in exchange for a truly one-of-a-kind item that was to be put up for auction. On February 27th, 2009, President of the United States Barack Obama attended the Washington Wizards vs. Chicago Bulls game at Verizon Center. After a seven-minute delay to start the game as The White House Press Corps cleared the game floor, President Obama sat courtside for the game. Inspired by the presence of President Obama – who was seated in ‘Gold North AAA Seat Number 2’ – the Wizards soundly defeated the Bulls that night by a score of 113-90. After the game, President Obama graciously autographed the seat that he occupied during the game. President Obama’s signature is found across the backrest of the chair, with the official Washington Wizards logo just above it.
“President Obama was so gracious to sign the chair that he occupied during the game for us,” said Wizards Senior Vice President of Community Relations Judy Holland. “It was our full intention to auction off this historic item to raise funds for Wizards Care. However, when Gilbert found out about this unique opportunity to own a piece of history, he stepped up with a tremendous bid. Everybody is a winner because of Gilbert’s generosity.”
The Wizards and Wizards Care were set to launch the bidding process for the autographed chair on Wednesday, July 15th, just after the excitement of President Obama’s ceremonial first pitch at Tuesday night’s Major League Baseball All-Star game. As the online auction was about to be announced, Arenas checked in with a bid that exceeded Washington’s goal for the item.