A championship ceremony at the White House is standard for many national sports teams. But shooting hoops with the president, now that’s something else entirely.
Moments after today’s event in front of the White House’s South Portico, President Barack Obama hustled the University of Connecticut’s women’s basketball team over to the outdoor half-court.
The president, a former high school player and avid fan who still plays pickup games, prevailed in a brief, impromptu game of P-I-G with a few of the players.
“He was pretty good from 17 feet,” said coach Geno Auriemma. “His shot’s a little unorthodox, but it goes in … He’s got a little bit of that swagger.”
Renee Montgomery, a senior guard, said Obama only missed one shot and that he sank a final fade-away shot from off the court.
After about 10 minutes, Obama walked back to the White House with his sleeves rolled up and his suit jacket slung over his shoulder.
Connecticut dominated women’s college basketball this season, going 39-0 and beating opponents by an average of better than 30 points. They capped the season earlier this month in St. Louis with a 76-54 victory over Louisville. It was Connecticut’s sixth national college championship and third perfect season.
The team gave Obama a basketball signed by the players and a Connecticut jersey emblazoned with “1? and his name on the back.
“Number One – that’s what I’m talking about,” Obama joked. “I will wear it when I’m playing.”
The Commander in Chief also commended the young women for their off court excellence as well.