March 28th, 2008
01:04 PM ET
6 years ago

Obama will play 3-on-3 basketball to register Indiana voters

An Obama supporter will battle the senator on the basketball court.
An Obama supporter will battle the senator on the basketball court.

HAMMOND, Indiana (CNN) - Barack Obama will put his well-reputed basketball skills on the line in an effort to register young voters in this hoops-obsessed primary state, his campaign announced Friday.

Obama's staff is hoping the chance to play a game of 3-on-3 pick-up with the presidential candidate will entice Indiana high school students to register their friends to vote in the state's May 6 contest. Every student that signs up at least 20 new voters before Indiana's April 7 registration deadline will be eligible to be picked to play against Obama in a game the campaign is calling "The 3-on-3 Challenge for Change."

Students who will be 18 by Election Day this November are eligible to vote in the state's primary.

One winning student will be selected for the game, and he or she will then pick two friends to take on Obama's team at their own high school. Obama's squad will include at least one college student who also signs up new voters, but the campaign has yet to determine who will be the third member.

The Illinois senator played basketball in high school, when he was a member of Punahou High School’s 1979 Hawaii state championship team, and he continues to work court time into his campaign schedule.

Obama was described as "fiercely competitive" on the court in an examination of his hoops prowess last year by the New York Times. A more recent Sports Illustrated story written about Obama's game before the Iowa caucuses heaped praise on the senator's easy jump shot.

The contest was announced Friday by former NBA player Calbert Cheaney, the Evansville native who was named the state's Mr. Basketball in 1989 before going on to play for Bob Knight at Indiana University, where he became the Big Ten's all-time leading scorer.

– CNN Political Producer Peter Hamby


Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama
soundoff (48 Responses)
  1. Eric-PA

    Can anyone say, desperate?!

    March 28, 2008 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  2. Counting Down

    What a good idea. I played b-ball growing up and this sounds like a fun, new idea. Hoosiers! I get it.

    Obama 08!

    p.s. this Texas, white girl will not be switching to Hillary tomorrow at the Texas Senate Conventions as a delegate.

    March 28, 2008 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  3. Brian

    This is so awesome! Great idea!

    OBAMA '08!!!

    March 28, 2008 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  4. Veterans Love Obama

    This ought to be fun to watch.

    Let's see McCain try this. Or Huckabee Clinton.

    March 28, 2008 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  5. Jeanie

    wow...Obama playing basket-ball in Indiania while Hillary is fighting with snipers in Bosnia..Wake Up America!!!

    March 28, 2008 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  6. Brandon

    BOo BOo BOo Obama! Keep your Children away from him! We dont want Obama for anything. Thank-God for Hillary! We are praying for you !

    March 28, 2008 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  7. Adam in Indy

    no thanks.

    March 28, 2008 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  8. Ben from Tuscaloosa, AL

    I wish I was in Indiana right now.... this is such cool innovative idea! We'll have to wait 'n' see if it actually works to his advantage!

    Obama '08

    March 28, 2008 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  9. duuude

    Hey, that's an idea. We could have a 3 on 3 to decide the campaign. Let's see Obama, Oprah and Richardson against Hillary, Bill and Carver. Anyone wanna gimme odds?

    March 28, 2008 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  10. carrie

    i am really impressed that barrack obama is trying to let young people know that they have a part to play.he is doing everyhting to bring them into the election.its amazing.what has hillary done to encourage young people to vote,other than her kitchen sink strategy and making up action hero sniper stories?
    barrack is def the breath of fresh air we need.

    March 28, 2008 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  11. Veterans Love Obama

    Obama In 08

    No Country For Old Men

    Obama In 08

    March 28, 2008 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  12. Ifeanyi Azubike Houston Texas

    Good to know they both have a good chance at some other profession if their bid fails. Obama for NBA; Hillary for hotel receptionist answering 3 am calls fo booking.

    March 28, 2008 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  13. vp

    Who is coming up with these intuitive ideas? His campaign is just amazing.

    March 28, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  14. Candi South Carolina

    What a good way to get the young people involved in politics. Obama you are my man.

    March 28, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  15. Shawna

    Another example of why this campaign has been successful, It's positive, engaging, outreaching and youth driven.

    March 28, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  16. Bob Delaware OH

    NO ONE (lol) is answering this question....Why now? Why have a minority or women president now (after 240 years lol)? It's ridiculous how bad our history is on this lol.

    March 28, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  17. Gary

    '...but the campaign has yet to determine who will be the third member.) Are they going near French Lick, Indiana?

    March 28, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  18. dave

    He's too smart to be president.

    March 28, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  19. VOTE TRUTH, DIGNITY

    I love you Obama. You are a great person.Regarding Hillary attacks
    Bill said if you can't stand a punch, get off
    of the Football team!!!!!!!!. Meaning get out of the race Obama so, my wife, whom I simply adore can cut throat her way all the way back to
    the White House.

    "Most football Players don't count on being on the recieving end of a personal fouls committed by members the own team!!!

    I loved that quote. It was on the "political ticker yesterday"

    Retired White Woman of 63 for Obama from Day 1
    OBAMA/EDWARDS 2008

    March 28, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  20. AJ

    Basketball, is this surprising? And they are trying to tell us this campaign isn't all about race...

    March 28, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  21. Dee JAY in miami

    Wat a GUY..............he is one of the only politicians who actually looks and act like a real person....

    OBAMA 08

    March 28, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  22. Stacking the Deck

    First, I'm an Obama supporter, but it is hilarious to me that he is not only playing High Schoolers, one of Obama's teammates will be a college student! Who's the 3rd player going to be on his team, Larry Bird?

    March 28, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  23. Sean

    Great to hear! Engage the young people. They just don't understand how much their voice matters. Obama '08!

    March 28, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  24. Thesis

    That's hot!

    March 28, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  25. Scott C

    AWESOME!

    I wish I lived in Indiana, or was young enough to participate... or that I didn't suck at basketball.

    March 28, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
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