Obamas Catch A College Basketball Game

Nov 29, 2009 9:42am

ABC News' Mallory Thompson reports: This Thanksgiving weekend, the First Family did the same thing many American families did – catch a game.  For the Obamas, the game of choice was basketball.
 
The Beavers of Oregon State, where Michelle Obama’s brother Craig Robinson is the head coach, were in town to play the George Washington University Colonials last night.  The game was a family affair with Barack, Michelle, Sasha and Malia Obama as well as grandmother Miriam Robinson, arriving at the Smith Center shortly before the game began. Fans were required to go through airport-like security before entering the arena.  While there was no official announcement of the President's arrival, students rushed to take photos and wave at the family as they entered.  The Obamas sat behind the Oregon State bench and enjoyed popcorn during the first half.   A few signs saying "Yo, Barry!" and "What's up Michelle?" popped up in the student section.
 
Oregon State, which led the entire game, held on to win 64-57 despite a last minute rally by the Colonials. The First Family stayed through the end of the game, cheering on Oregon State. GW head coach Karl Hobbs thanked the President for attending and joked about the loss saying, "I knew there was trouble when I saw Craig's mother here."
 
On Friday, Oregon State's team was treated to a guided tour of the White House and a meeting with President Obama and his special assistant Reggie Love, a former Duke basketball and football player.  According to the University's press release, the squad had the opportunity to check out the White House basketball court, a former tennis court that was converted after President Obama took office.
 
"It was a special experience and one I hope these guys will never forget," Coach Craig Robinson said.
 
President Obama is an avid basketball fan, but he is not the only President who took a liking to going to a game every now and then.
 
Ironically, the last time GW and Oregon State matched up, in the 1994-1995 season, it was the same season that President Clinton attended a GW game – to watch then number one ranked UMass fall to the Colonials.  Former President Clinton also attended a game at Georgetown University, his undergraduate alma mater, during his time in the White House.
 
President George W. Bush's sport of choice was baseball.  He was a co-owner of the Texas Rangers before taking office.  President Theodore Rosevelt loved tennis and had the first courts installed at the White House.  President Richard Nixon installed the bowling alley in the White House basement and became good friends with then Washington Redskins coach George Allen.  President Gerald Ford was a football star at the University of Michigan, with two national championships and NFL contract offers.  And President Howard Taft was the first President to throw out a first pitch at a baseball game. A feat that President Obama has already accomplished – he threw the first pitch in this year's All Star Game in St. Louis.  Looks like he has all of his sports bases covered. — Mallory Thompson

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