President Barack Obama did not make it to the Verizon Center in time to see any of the USA women team’s 99-67 win over Brazil Monday. But he did make it to the locker room after it was over to spend some time with the team.
“The President is a huge basketball fan, everybody knows that,” said Auriemma. “He wanted to congratulate the players and wish them luck. He probably spent a lot more time then they wanted oo down there just being a regular guy.
“He wanted to know about the team, where we were going, what the seeds are and who we are playing. He has a pretty good grip on what is going on in the Olympic. Some of the players had already met him. He treated all of them exactly the same, we knew some of them by their first name, some he recognized
“One of the great things about meeting the President, whether you voted for him or didn’t vote for him whether he is a Republican, a Democrat or something else, when you are in the presence of the President, you are in the presence of the President. We had dinner with a bunch of generals and you get to shake hands with two four-star generals. It’s not the same as no disrespect but it is not the same as being in Manchester, Connecticut and saying hi to one of the cops at Dunkin’ Donuts.”
During his first term. Obama has twice greeted NCAA champion UConn teams and Auriemma said rhe President remembered many of the player’s names.
“Yes, we talked a little bit about health care,” said Diana Taurasi about Obama’s appearance. “And we talked some tax breaks.”
USA guard Lindsay Whalen, who led with 21 points (8-of-12) and five assists, met the President for the first time.
“It was pretty cool,” said Whalen. “As for what he said, he just reminded us to represent the nation well and make us proud. I know we will all take that to heart”
Obama and his wife, Michelle, took their courtside seats for the men’s game and were even put on the “Kiss Cam” at one point of the first half. There was no official smooch.
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