Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Audacity of Hoops

My days as a basketball junkie finally came to an end when I was about President Barack Obama's age -- 47. Now I dearly miss playing, so I write about the game. And, as a guy who used to play at least twice a week for many years, I'm glad the new president knows his way around a basketball court.

While folks who are anti-sports my not care about Obama's hoops connection, I believe -- like his brother-in-law, Craig Robinson, does -- that you can tell something about a man by the way he plays basketball. Now comes a feature article in Sports Illustrated by Alexander Wolff that goes into that aspect of Obama's life more than what we've seen about it on television.
The path is a familiar one: Ancestry in Kansas; influences from Africa; a kind of apotheosis in Michael Jordan's Chicago; eventual acclamation by the world. And while, no, basketball itself won't be sworn in next Tuesday as the 44th president of the U.S., the game has played an outsized role in forming the man who will. Basketball, says his brother-in-law, Oregon State coach Craig Robinson, is why Barack Obama "is sitting where he's sitting."
Click here to read "The Audacity of Hoops: How Basketball Helped Shape Obama."

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