Hoops Fans Await Jump Shots at White House

By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 10, 2009 2:17 PM CST
Barak "Barry" Obama is seen in his 1978 senior yearbook class photo from the Punahou School Honolulu.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – It's no secret that Barack Obama is an avid hoopster and that his presidency could usher in an era of basketball diplomacy, but a New York Times feature on the politics of presidential sports notes a potential hurdle for the president-elect: He's inheriting a cruddy basketball court. Little-used since Bush the elder installed it outside in 1991, the court is small, suffers a weathered and cracked surface, and has but one hoop.

Still, basketball enthusiasts aren't down. The president of the sport's Hall of Fame speaks of it being an "international language" and having a "global American message." Sacramento mayor and former Phoenix Sun Kevin Johnson is more pragmatic. Asked about being invited to play, he says: “That would be his first mistake in office. I’d have to skunk him.”