Men's Basketball Tours White House, Meets President Barack Obama
Nov. 27, 2009
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In the nation's capital for a game against George Washington, the Oregon State men's basketball team received the opportunity of a lifetime on Friday as the Beavers met President of the United States Barack Obama and took a guided tour of the White House.
'I wanted the guys to experience all of the history surrounding one of the most recognizable buildings in the world,' head coach Craig Robinson said. 'It was a special experience and one I hope these guys will never forget.'
Once through security, the Beavers were greeted by White House Visitors Office Director Ellie Schafer, who led the Oregon State travel party into an office in the east wing. Much to their surprise, the Beavers were greeted by President Obama and special assistant Reggie Love. After the thrill of the moment set in, President Obama took a few moments to meet everyone individually, deliver some encouraging words and pose for a group picture.
Following the brief meeting with President Obama, the squad had the opportunity to check out the White House basketball court, a former tennis court that was converted once President Obama took office. With a stray ball lying on the court (complete with an Obama campaign logo), Jared Cunningham calmly nailed a seven-foot jumper to the cheers of the travel party.
With a perfect field goal percentage in hand, Schafer led Oregon State on the traditional White House tour, with stops at the historic rooms of the first floor of the White House residence. Schafer shared the history behind rooms such as the Blue Room and Red Room before leading the group outside to take a picture at the main entrance.
Following the group photo opportunity, the team finished the tour and made its way back to the hotel, wrapping up an unforgettable experience.
'It was an amazing opportunity,' senior forward Seth Tarver said. 'Words cannot really describe it. It was impressive to learn about the history of the building and the presidents who have occupied it through the years. I think we were all nervous when we saw President Obama in the room, but he gave us some words of encouragement and lightened the mood.'
Oregon State returned to practice Friday afternoon as the Beavers prepare to face George Washington on Saturday, Nov. 28, at 11:00 a.m. The game can be heard over the Beaver Sports Radio Network or online at www.osubeavers.com with a subscription to Beaver Nation Online.