Obama welcomes NCAA Champs to the White House
July 23rd, 2013
06:41 PM ET
10 years ago

Obama welcomes NCAA Champs to the White House

Washington (CNN) - It's not every day that President Barack Obama gets to mix work with play.

Tuesday in the White House East Room, he was able to do just that.

Obama congratulated the University of Louisville basketball team on their 2013 NCAA men's Division I championship victory.

An avid college basketball fan, Obama wore a huge smile as he introduced the Cardinals.

"Today, we are here to celebrate a Louisville team that always played hard, that always worked together, that stayed focused on one singular goal," the president said.

"And that is to bust my bracket," he joked of his NCAA tournament pool performance.

Rick Pitino, the team's coach, presented Obama with two gifts from the Cardinals: a jersey and an official Louisville slugger baseball bat.

"It says 'National Champions' and your name on it," Pitino said.

"And the reason we picked a bat - some press conferences are difficult, as it is for me. Feel free to use this at any time," the coach added.

The room was full of laugher as Obama picked up the bat and pointed it towards the crowd.

It was a bipartisan affair with Louisville grad and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell attending.

Obama welcomed his political adversary at the top of his remarks, though the event largely centered on players, including Kevin Ware, who broke his leg during the tournament that was captured on national TV.

Obama offered a special message to Ware's mother regarding the cringe-worthy moment.

"I told him to say 'hi' to his mom because moms don't like seeing their kids get hurt, and obviously all of us remember the terrible injury that Kevin suffered but what we also remember is the love that all of his teammates show for him."

Filed under: President Obama
soundoff (5 Responses)
  1. Richard Long

    2 for 22

    July 23, 2013 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  2. Rick McDaniel

    Kind of like inviting the rappers. Inviting the bad boys into the WH.

    Obviously, some people have to judgement in who they associate with.

    July 23, 2013 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  3. Sniffit

    He should make the SOTU Address with that bat in his hand.

    July 23, 2013 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  4. Adonis

    Go Cards! #BirdGang #L1C4

    July 23, 2013 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  5. Thomas

    Rand Paul dream on !

    July 23, 2013 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |