Support Our Hoops: President Obama Hits The BBall Court

Bill Clinton had his saxophone. JFK was an avid sailor. FDR collected stamps. These days, President Barack Obama has made basketball the First Hobby. From pick-up games with White House staffers to appearances at Washington Wizards games, the President has found plenty of ways to partake in his favorite pastime, in between that whole “leading the free world” thing. Even his Cabinet is mostly made up of former players, something that caused President Obama to joke
that he’s put together “the best basketball-playing Cabinet in American history.” Here, the President tries to block a shot while playing with Reggie Love at St. Bartholomew’s Church in New York on September 23, during the UN General Assembly.

Official White House photo by Pete Souza

Then-Sen. Barack Obama gets a rebound during a game with U.S. military service members during his visit to Camp Lemonier, Djibouti, in August 2006.

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President Obama takes a shot while playing with White House staffers during his vacation in Martha’s Vineyard on August 26, 2009.

Official White House photo by Pete Souza

Chinese Vice Premier Wang Qishan plays “keep-away” with the President following their Oval Office meeting on July 28, 2009.

Official White House photo by Pete Souza

President Obama poses with gifts from the WNBA Champion Detroit Shock after welcoming the team to the White House on July 27, 2009.

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President Obama practices his moves after leaving a press conference with the WNBA Champion Detroit Shock.

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The President plays with staffers at Camp David on July 18, 2009.

Official White House photo by Pete Souza

White House Butler Von Everett pumps up basketballs for the President on June 30, 2009.

Official White House photo by Pete Souza

President Obama receives a jersey from University of North Carolina Coach Roy Williams and his national champion Tar Heels on May 11, 2009.

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He shoots! He scores? Obama warms up before a game at Fort McNair in Washington, D.C. on May 9, 2009.

Official White House photo by Pete Souza

The President blocks another player during the game at Fort McNair.

Official White House photo by Pete Souza

Obama and the 2009 NCAA women’s basketball champion University of Connecticut Huskies play a spirited game of P-I-G on the White House court on April 27, 2009. The President won, though guard Renee Montgomery blamed her clothing on her loss — “I couldn’t extend my arms,” she said. UConn coach Geno Auriemma called Obama’s shot “unorthodox” but effective, and said that he had “swagger.”

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The P-I-G loss didn’t stop Renee Montgomery from giving a basketball and jersey to the President.

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Before every election night, the President plays a game of basketball. Here, he plays a game of three-on-three in Kokomo, IN.

Jeff Malet/maletphoto.com

The Easter egg roll event at the White House on April 13, 2009 also proved an occasion to shoot some hoops.

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Enjoying the new South Lawn basketball court, President Barack Obama shoots from downtown.

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

President Obama challenges the shot of Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, a former professional basketball player in Australia.

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

President Obama watches his favorite team, the Chicago Bulls, take on the Washington Wizards in D.C.’s Verizon Center. The President is being heckled by a passionate Wizards fan, as the Bulls lost that night. But the President’s presence energized the game — multiple Wizards players saluted the President after good plays.

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

Before the game, President Obama invited the Chicago Bulls to the White House. Veteran guard Lindsey Hunter said of the occasion: “He actually knew a couple of us — me being one of the couple.”

Newscom/Joyce H. Boghosian/SIPA Photos

Sasha Obama inherited the hoops gene. Here (in orange), she plays in a youth game in Washington D.C. on February 21 2009, cheered on by the President and First Lady.

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

This photo from Punahou School’s 1979 yearbook shows Obama on top right. Though Obama was a high school benchwarmer, he has said that the experience of not starting made him learn about “discipline, about handling disappointments, about being team-oriented and realizing that not everything is about you.”

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Here, Obama is shown scoring in 1979. The 1979 Punahou team won the state title, sent three players to D-I colleges, and according to Sports Illustrated’s Alexander Wolff, is considered one of Hawaii’s best high school basketball teams ever.

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