President Barack Obama Will Attend Oregon State vs. Maryland

Mike ChiariFeatured ColumnistNovember 16, 2013

USA Today

Most probably figured that Sunday's college basketball game between the Oregon State Beavers and Maryland Terrapins would be a relatively anonymous affair, but it turns out that the contest will have a decidedly presidential feel. 

According to SportsCenter, President Barack Obama and his family will attend the game in College Park, Md., at the Comcast Center.

Not only is the game in close proximity to Washington, but it's also significant since First Lady Michelle Obama's brother Craig Robinson is the head coach of the Beavers.

Jeff Barker of The Baltimore Sun provided a statement from Oregon State guard Roberto Nelson discussing the excitement of meeting President Obama again:

Oregon State has grown accustomed to meeting the president. The team even got to have Thanksgiving dinner at the White House.

But it’s still a big deal.

“[Obama and the First Lady] know you by your first name,” Beavers senior guard Roberto Nelson said. “It’s amazing.”

This isn't the first time that the president and his family have gone to a sporting event; however, it is always newsworthy when he makes an appearance.

The fact that President Obama's brother-in-law is coaching in the game is obviously the main reason why the first family is going to be there, but the president is well known for being a huge basketball fan.

Not only did he play basketball in high school, but he has famously organized a number of competitive pickup games since taking office. According to Michael D. Shear of The Washington Post, Obama took that to another level for his 49th birthday in 2010.

The president played with and against a number of current and former NBA players, including LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Magic Johnson, Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul, Derrick Rose and a host of others.

He also recently played a round of golf with former Georgetown and Miami Heat center Alonzo Mourning, per Chuck Schilken of the Los Angeles Times.

In addition to that, the release of Obama's NCAA tournament bracket has become a yearly event that sports fans everywhere look forward to. He finished in the 74th percentile in ESPN's bracket challenge this past season.

There may be issues in Washington, but it's nice to see that Obama is still willing and able to connect with the American people through sports. 


Follow @MikeChiari on Twitter