Entries in Basketball (10)


Obama Attends Daughter’s Basketball Game

Gregory Shamus/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama tended to his duties as dad Saturday morning, making time to watch his 11-year-old daughter Sasha play in a basketball game in Chevy Chase, Md., just outside Washington, D.C.

In an interview with ESPN last year, the president talked about his second job as a coach for Sasha’s team.

“With the girls, they just think of it as dad, that is what dads are supposed to do. They take it for granted,” Obama told ESPN’s Andy Katz in 2012.

“But what was fun, this is now the third year that the team has played together, and to see them all develop at different paces, to get better and start thinking as a team and to feel good when the team does well, to pick each other up when something is not going well, you can’t beat it,” he said, “you can’t beat the satisfaction.”

On Saturday night, the president makes his second appearance at the annual Gridiron Club Dinner, an exclusive Washington, D.C. fete featuring prominent journalists and politicians.  The president attended the dinner one other time in 2011.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Obama Hoops-Themed Fundraisers to Net Millions

JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The campaign money trail for President Obama will cut through a basketball court in Manhattan Wednesday night.

A trio of hoops-themed fundraisers, hosted by Michael Jordan and other current and former NBA stars, is expected to net at least $3 million for Obama and the Democrats, according to figures provided by his campaign.

The “Obama Classic” includes a $250 per-person autograph signing event, a $5,000 skills camp and shoot-around, and a $20,000 per-plate dinner co-hosted by Jordan and 120 guests.  The events are slated to take place in various venues at Lincoln Center.

Carmelo Anthony, Patrick Ewing, Sheryl Swoopes, Kyrie Irving and Alonzo Mourning -- among other players -- are expected to attend, the campaign said in an email to supporters last month.

Obama is expected to join the stars on the court for part of the event, although campaign spokeswoman Jen Psaki was coy when asked for details.

“The president does love basketball, but I don’t have anything to report yet,” she told reporters on Tuesday.

“I’ll just say I feel pretty good about … how the president is going to play tomorrow [Wednesday],” she said.  “He is playing with some NBA heroes.  So I don’t want to overbuild it.”

While Obama largely holds the support of NBA players, including Vince Carter, who hosted the president at his Florida home in February, Mitt Romney has the majority support of team owners, according to the basketball blog HoopsHype.

The site also found that Romney holds an overall edge in fundraising within the pro-basketball community, collecting $71,000 from 16 donors compared with $67,950 from 23 donors for Obama.  The data was compiled from the Center for Responsive Politics and Federal Election Commission.

With Wednesday evening's events, Obama will eclipse 204 re-election fundraisers since launching his campaign in April 2011 -- a record-smashing amount of time spent fundraising by an incumbent.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


‘Obama Classic’ Basketball Fundraiser to Star Michael Jordan

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama, Michael Jordan and a group of past and present NBA stars will appear together on a New York City basketball court Aug. 22 for the “Obama Classic,” a fundraiser and grassroots sweepstakes for the president’s re-election campaign.

A star-studded, pro-Obama exhibition game will feature Carmelo Anthony, Patrick Ewing, Sheryl Swoopes, Kyrie Irving, Alonzo Mourning, among other players, the campaign said in an email to supporters.

“Hit the court with Patrick Ewing and Melo? Trade stories with the President? This is the kind of stuff your kids will tell their kids, and no one will believe it until you show them a photo,” wrote Marlon Marshall, the Obama campaign’s national field director.

Spectator tickets will be sold to raise funds for Obama’s campaign.  Donors of as little as $3 can enter to win an all-expenses paid trip to attend the game and a subsequent dinner hosted by Jordan.

The event, which was originally scheduled for a Washington, D.C., arena in December 2011, was delayed after the NBA lockout. No word yet on the venue.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Obama Puts Own Image on Basketball

Network Pool Photo(WASHINGTON) -- Using a special basketball festooned with his own image, President Obama shot some hoops Monday with former NBA players, Harlem Globetrotters and kids attending the White House Easter Egg Hunt.

The “Shoot for Strength” activity took place on the White House basketball court, where Daryll “Chocolate Thunder” Dawkins and legendary shooting guard Mitch Richmond joined Globetrotters Herb Lang, Fatima Maddox, Jacob Tucker and Wun Versher to conduct drills with kids. The drill consisted of the kids doing pushups every time the professional players or President Obama scored.

In his first three shots he went 0 for 3. He missed seven shots before sinking his first.

The kids switched with the shooters, and the president dropped to the ground to do some pushups. “Somebody saw me cheating on my pushups,” the president joked.

He then moved on to tennis with Chris Evert. The tennis balls did not have his image on them.

“Four more years,” one woman said as he left the court.

“With your help,” he said.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Coach Obama Reveals Basketball Philosophy

The White House/Pete Souza(WASHINGTON) -- On most weekends in Washington, President Obama trades in his suit and tie for athletic pants, a ball cap and a whistle as coach of his daughter Sasha’s basketball team.  And in spite of all the demands of being commander-in-chief, and campaigning for a second term, he reportedly has not missed a game all year.

“With the girls, they just think of it as dad, that is what dads are supposed to do.  They take it for granted,” Obama said of the experience in an interview with ESPN’s Andy Katz.

“But what was fun, this is now the third year that the team has played together, and to see them all develop at different paces, to get better and start thinking as a team and to feel good when the team does well, to pick each other up when something is not going well, you can’t beat it,” he said.  “You can’t beat the satisfaction.”

Obama said he first got involved with the team when he realized the girls’ coach -- a parent volunteer who works for the National Institutes of Health -- didn’t have any basketball experience.

“We’d see somebody playing a zone, our girls wouldn’t know where to go, so I would go over and whisper to the coach,” he said.  “On Sunday, we would have them over to the gym over here and we’d run drills and we’d run plays.”

Obama says his philosophy is to hammer home the basics -- dribbling, passing and boxing out.

“Making sure that they are not practicing shooting three-pointers when they can barely get the ball to the basket,” he told Katz.  “The whole theory was, don’t practice shots that you are not going to take in a game.”

The president also said that he is not afraid to be critical of his players on the court, but uses humor to soften the blow.

“There were times where I would pretend to do what they were doing and the balls would land on their heads, or this is how they would rebound without jumping or paying attention to who they are supposed to be boxing out and they would start laughing,” he said.

While it’s unclear how long Obama has been coaching the team, first lady Michelle Obama told supporters in Florida last month that he “hasn’t missed a game.”   Sasha, 10, and Malia, 13, both attend the prestigious Sidwell Friends School in Washington.

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Obama Offers NCAA Bracket Challenge

Hemera/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- “Think you got game?”  That’s the question President Obama is posing to sports fans in a new, online interactive contest aimed at expanding his re-election campaign’s contact list and collecting some grassroots cash.

With the “Obama Bracket Challenge” on the campaign’s website, supporters can electronically make their picks for the 2012 NCAA men’s and women’s basketball tournaments and see how they measure up against Obama.

The president has filled out a March Madness tournament bracket each of the past three years during an interview with ESPN’s Andy Katz.  He’s expected to do so again this year, and his campaign will post his selections online.

To participate, users must provide their full name, email address and ZIP code.  They’re also prompted to make a donation to the campaign after submitting their picks.

“We’ll publish a list of everyone who does better than the president here on after the tournament is over,” the campaign says.

Obama will attend a first-round NCAA men’s tournament game in Dayton, Ohio, Tuesday. He’s bringing as a guest visiting British Prime Minister David Cameron.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Obama, David Cameron to Attend NCAA Basketball Game

NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama is scheduled to take British Prime Minister David Cameron to an NCAA tournament game as part of his official visit to the United States next week.

Showcasing one of America’s most popular sporting events, Obama and Cameron will attend a first-round game in Ohio at the University of Dayton on Tuesday.

The outing is intended to highlight the close relationship between the two nations, according to a White House official.

The game also gives the president another opportunity to visit the key battleground state.  While Obama carried the Buckeye State in 2008, recent polls show him in a tight race for Ohio with GOP front-runner Mitt Romney.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Obama on Lin-sanity: ‘I’ve Been on the Jeremy Lin Bandwagon for a While’

Pete Souza/White House via Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama says he was ahead of the curve when it comes to New York Knicks sensation Jeremy Lin.

“I’ve been on the Jeremy Lin bandwagon for a while,” the president told ESPN’s Bill Simmons on Wednesday.  “I knew about Jeremy before you did, before everybody else did.”

Education Secretary Arne Duncan, who often plays basketball with the president, first drew his attention to the breakout star.

“Arne and I were playing and he said, ‘I’m telling you, we’ve got this terrific guard named Jeremy Lin at Harvard,’” Obama said.

Duncan, who played professional basketball in Australia before turning to politics, is a former captain of the Harvard team, Lin’s alma mater.

Asked jokingly by Simmons if he was taking credit for Lin-sanity, the president said, “I can’t take credit for it.  But I’m just saying, I was there early.”

In a wide-ranging interview, the sports-fan-in-chief revealed how he stays up-to-date with professional sports despite his demanding day job.

When he and his wife Michelle Obama work out together in the morning they always watch ESPN’s SportsCenter, Obama explained.

“The only thing that she allows me to control … is SportsCenter,” the president quipped.

Obama, a self-professed “night guy,” also admitted he sometimes sneaks in a ball game while he’s up late at night reading his briefings.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Coach Obama Mentors Daughter’s Team

Pete Souza/White House via Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Between his many duties as Commander-in-Chief, President Obama seems to have added a new responsibility to his plate: coaching his daughter Sasha’s basketball team.

Weekends at the White House typically see a casually dressed Obama traveling to his daughters’ sports games and Saturday morning was no exception.

Or, if there are no events scheduled, he often takes the children and their friends to shoot hoops on their own. As such, the press is accustomed to seeing presidential assistants lugging sacks of athletic gear into his motorcade, weaving between Secret Service.

But media are rarely allowed to attend the games and according to Michelle Obama, the First Dad has taken a stronger role than previously known by actively instructing Sasha’s team.

“He hasn’t missed a game,” the First Lady said on Thursday. “I think he was hoping to get this weekend off, but I’m gone.”

Mrs. Obama is traveling this week and is currently in Florida.

It’s unclear how long the President has been participating in the team. However, he is not a stranger to the practice. A year ago Obama and his then-personal aide, Reggie Love, once acted as substitute coaches when the team regulars both couldn’t make it to a game.

It is well known that the president is an avid basketball fan. A young Obama played for his high school in Hawaii. Now he seems to go out of his way to spend free time on the court, even sporting a pair of ultra-rare sneakers. In 2010 his pastime backfired when another player accidentally hit him in the lip, resulting in 12 stitches.

Sasha Obama, 10, attends the prestigious Sidwell Friends School in Washington with her older sister, Malia. Past presidential daughters Chelsea Clinton and Tricia Nixon Cox are among the private institution’s alumni.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


President Obama Attends Basketball Game on USS Carl Vinson

File photo. Pete Souza/The White House(SAN DIEGO, CA) -- President Obama is attending the first annual Veterans Day "Carrier Classic" basketball game on the same aircraft carrier that buried Osama bin Laden at sea.

Obama will attend this evening's game between the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Michigan State along with roughly 7,000 fans, mostly active military personnel.

The Carrier Classic will be played on the USS Carl Vinson, the Navy carrier that conducted the bin Laden burial at sea after he was killed by Navy SEALs in May in a raid ordered by the president. The game will be the first-ever college basketball game played on a flight deck.

The sponsor of the event, Quicken Loans, says "This event is more than two great basketball teams coming together to play in an incredible environment. It's a way to recognize and support the service of the members of the Armed Forces, the veterans and their families and all those who have made the ultimate sacrifice."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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