Thursday, May 27, 2010
Love, a former Duke basketball captain and member of the 2001 NCCA men’s championship team, also is Obama’s body man and frequent pickup teammate. He was notorious back in Durham for a shaky shooting percentage. He’s known around the White House as a big-time Blue Devils fan.
And he got the first big applause of the day when he walked onto stage, alone, to adjust something on Obama’s podium before the event started.
“Reggie!” the crowd shouted, and broke into applause.
Later, Obama took a crack at Love’s expense:
“Now some of you may know that my assistant, Reggie Love, used to play for Coach K at Duke... In fact, Reggie was so excited to see his old coach today that I had to make him come out and run some sprint drills just to calm him down,” Obama said.
He went on: “And then Coach and I were both discussing – I play with Reggie now, and when Reggie was playing, Coach said, ‘Don’t shoot!’
“And when he’s on my team, I say to Reggie, ‘Don’t shoot!’ So things haven’t changed.”
Obama made like he was waving down the court at Love. “’Go down in the post, rebound.’”
Still, as the president worked a few minutes later to get into a group picture on stage with the team, a pair of women way back in the audience stood to wave at Love, standing discreetly to the side and under a shade tree. He grinned and waved back.
After the ceremony, local reporters asked the press office about interviews: Will Reggie come out? Can we talk to Reggie?
Alas, Love was back inside the White House with the president, shooting photos with the men’s 2010 World Cup soccer team.
- Barbara Barrett, Washington correspondent, McClatchy Newspapers
Posted by Observer Sports at 12:51 PM