Dreams of his basketball court: Obama sees All Star hoops at his presidential library

Dreams of his basketball court: Obama sees All Star hoops at his presidential library - World - News

President Barack Obama’s Enduring Love for Basketball: From the White House Court to His Presidential Library

President Barack Obama, the hoop enthusiast, is infusing his presidential library in Chicago with a full-size basketball court to showcase his deep-rooted connection to the sport that has been an integral part of his persona, his charm for younger voters, and a potent political tool throughout his political career.

The Basketball Oasis at the Obama Presidential Center

Located in Jackson Park, Chicago, the Obama Presidential Center is set to become the first presidential library to boast an athletic complex with a regulation-sized basketball court. This distinctive feature underlines the profound influence that Obama’s love for basketball has had on his political image, appeal to younger generations, and strategic utility.

Obama’s Basketball Legacy: A Presidential Court and All-Star Games

“It will also be the first presidential center where multiple All-Star games will take place,” Obama shared on the “Ways to Win” podcast hosted by his brother-in-law Craig Robinson and University of Kentucky coach John Calipari.

The Retired Player: Obama Hangs up His Basketball Shoes

Although the 62-year-old former president won’t be lacing up his sneakers to play on his court, he confessed on the podcast that he no longer engages in competitive pick-up games. “I have hung ’em up,” Obama admitted.

Obama’s Basketball Heroes: From Kennedy and Clinton to Trump

Every recent president, including Obama, has had a passion for golf. Donald Trump, who was critical of Obama’s golfing habits while in office, himself became an avid player. Joe Biden, known for his discreet love for the game, is also reportedly one of the best presidential golfers. Bill Clinton, meanwhile, was an accomplished jogger.

Basketball as a Team Sport: A Rarity for Presidents

But it is rare for a president to participate in a team sport. With both the sitting and presumptive Republican nominee being 81 years old, it’s unlikely that this trend will change soon.

Basketball and March Madness: Obama’s Public Connection to the Game

“The first year I did this, 2009, right? I’d been sworn in. And I picked North Carolina… And they won,” Obama said on the podcast about his March Madness brackets.

From Swagger to Diplomacy: Basketball as a Political Tool

Throughout Obama’s political career, basketball has played a significant role in shaping his image. Early on, he viewed himself as the star of an NBA team and used this self-confident stance to appeal to voters. “I’m LeBron, baby. I can play on this level. I got some game,” Obama told journalist David Mendell before his historic 2004 Democratic National Convention speech in Boston.

Basketball: A Conduit to a Wider Audience and Cool Persona

Even though Obama’s playing days might be over, his March Madness brackets continue to engage a large audience on social media and add an element of cool to his persona. “The first year I did this, 2009, right? I’d been sworn in. And I picked North Carolina… And they won,” Obama said on the podcast about his March Madness brackets.

The Political Rise of Barack Obama: Basketball as a Campaign Asset

From the beginning of his political journey, Obama’s love for basketball was utilized by his campaign as a way to project an image of a vigorous and athletic candidate. He would often play pick-up games with his team, including during the Middle East tour to demonstrate his foreign policy prowess.

Basketball at the White House: An Exclusive Ticket and Diplomatic Tool

Once in office, Obama converted the White House tennis court into a basketball court. His pick-up games with Cabinet members and other administration officials became highly sought-after events in Washington. They would often take place on military bases or government buildings near the White House.

Moments of Triumph and Embarrassment: Obama’s Basketball Memories

Throughout his presidency, Obama continued to engage in basketball-related activities, including coaching his daughters’ school games and using March Madness as a diplomatic backdrop.

A Lifelong Passion: Basketball and Barack Obama

Though he’s no longer seen on the court, Obama still enjoys the game. During his campaign stop with Biden in Michigan in 2020, he scored a walk-off three-pointer and expressed his delight: “That’s what I do. That’s what I do.”

Lessons from the Court: Obama’s Advice for Leaders and Coaches

“Don’t get too high when things are going good. Don’t get too low when things are going bad. That feels right to me in terms of leadership,” Obama advised on the “Ways to Win” podcast.

The Legacy Continues: Basketball, Leadership, and Obama

This advice is especially relevant as President Biden embarks on a challenging reelection campaign. The pair will appear together at a virtual election rally this weekend to promote the Affordable Care Act on its 14th anniversary.