basketball-men-d1 flag

Adam Hermann | NCAA.com | June 1, 2018

Drew Brees bought a 1932 John Wooden jersey for Purdue

  The classic Wooden jersey will be returned to head coach Matt Painter and Purdue.

Sometimes, it helps to have $264,000 on hand.

Purdue alum and current NFL star Drew Brees (maybe you've heard of him?) received a message from his friend Orlando Itin, who runs a locally famous pizza shop on Purdue's campus. Itin, Brees said, has a fascination with Purdue memorabilia, and had learned of an authentic John Wooden jersey from the legendary UCLA coach's playing days in college -- back in the early 1930s. It was going up for auction in Dallas, through Heritage Auctions.

Brees and Itin made a snap decision: they needed to return the legendary jersey to Purdue's campus where it belonged, no matter what the cost.

RELATED: Could Kansas' Dedric Lawson be next Big 12 Player of Year?

So they did.

The school revealed the jersey's arrival at Purdue's Mackey Arena on Tuesday at an event for Boilermakers fans. Brees was supposed to attend the event and unveil the jersey himself, but weather got in the way of Brees' flight. So he recorded the video above to let Purdue fans know how it all went down.

According to the Journal & Courier, Tom Schott, Purdue's senior associate athletic director for communications, said "plans for the the display and care of the jersey are still being discussed." Schott and the school reached out to College Football Hall of Fame for help on how to treat the nearly-century-old piece of history -- a piece of history that, thanks to Brees, has been returned to its original home.

How a college wrestling match is scored

Here's how scoring works in college wrestling, including video breakdowns of tech falls, major decisions, disqualifications and more.
READ MORE

College basketball's top 10 players in the NBA's 2020 Eastern Conference Finals

These are the 10 players in the 2020 Eastern Conference finals who had the best college basketball careers, ranked by NCAA.com's Andy Katz.
READ MORE

2020 Big Ten football schedule: Games, dates, matchups

The 2020 Big Ten fall football season has been postponed.
READ MORE

Subscribe To Email Updates

Enter your information to receive emails about offers, promotions from NCAA.com and our partners