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Shooting Hoops With The Future President

December 18, 2008 - Joselyn King
It's been no secret that President-elect Barack Obama loves basketball, and that pick-up games are his preferred form of exercise. He's even quipped he might just replace the White House bowling lanes with a basketball court after he takes office.

Such a venue could see a lot of action based on his picks for a presidential cabinet.

Recent picks indicate that many of those close to Obama have a basketball background. Here's a cumulative roundup of what's been reported of the B-Ball skill of some of Obama's potential advisers:

* Arne Duncan: 6'5 ­ -- Obama's pick for education secretary and currently the chief executive officer for the Chicago school system was co-captain of the basketball team at Harvard and played professionally in Austrailia. (Obama vehemently denies he selected him for his cabinet based on his basketball ability.)

* James L. Jones: 6'4 ­-- Obama's choice for national security adviser, played forward at Georgetown.

* Reggie Love --­ Obama's personal aide played on a Duke team that won the NCAA title.

* Illinois state treasurer Alexi Giannoulias, another Obama insider, played basketball professionally in Greece.

* Eric Holder ­ -- Attorney general pick played at Columbia University.

* Susan Rice : 5'3 ­ -- U.S. ambassador to the United Nations was a star player in Washington D.C.-area high school basketball.

* Paul Volker: 6'7 --­ Chairman of Obamaás Economic Advisory team played basketball at Princeton. (It's noted he is age 81).

* Craig Robinson ­-- Future first brother-in-law is head basketball coach at Oregon State University.

Even secretary of state nominee U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., was known to shoot hoops while growing up.

And a basketball court probably isn't the worst place for the president to hold a cabinet meeting.

Imagine the dialogue that would ensue about health care reform if someone got smashed in the mouth during a particularly physical stretch.

The subject of withdrawal of troops from Iraq would undoubtedly come up during the execution of an inside press.

Certainly the president would take note of who on his team was only shooting for three pointers, and who was making their foul shots.

Obama comes from a background where youths are encouraged to participate in sports as a way of keeping them out of mischief. Maybe he thinks basketball is the best way to bring strength and character to his cabinet.


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