Former U.S. President Barack Obama’s love affair with hoops has been pretty well-documented. Obama’s been courtside at Washington Wizards games and at the United Center checking out the Chicago Bulls.
During Obama’s presidency, many sports teams have also relished in the opportunity to visit the White House after winning a championship
CBS Sports analyst, Clark Kellogg has a basketball Jones too! He was a standout at Ohio State and played three seasons in the NBA with the Indiana Pacers.
Both Obama and Kellogg have also had the distinct honor of playing against each other in a game of HORSE at the White House during a live broadcast before the 2010 NCAA Tournament.
“It was one of the highlights of my life, quite honestly,” Kellogg told Fred Ennette on a recent episode of the Unnecessary Roughness Podcast.
“To have the opportunity to visit with a sitting president and to do so with the first African American president of this country who happens to be a contemporary of mine being that we’re the same age and have had a similar love affair with basketball.”
For those keeping score at home, Obama is not just a hoops fan. As per The Postgame’s Jeffrey Eisenband, in the late 1970s, Obama played on both the J.V. and varsity teams at Hawaii’s Punahou School, eventually winning a state championship in 1979.
— ThePostGame (@ThePostGame) January 11, 2017
Million dollar question: Did Kellogg go easy on Obama?
“I let up,” said Kellogg. “I didn’t take it easy, but I started fast, pumped my brakes and then he got the momentum and took advantage of that.”
Eight years later, Kellogg is still getting ribbing from close friends for letting 44 get the W.
“There are a few basketball friends right now that still, whenever they see me bring that up and they look at me with disdain and they ask me how did you let that happen,” joked Kellogg.
“And I tell them: ‘You know what? I didn’t let it happen. He earned it and it made for good television and it made for even better television that he won and not me.'”
Kellogg’s interview on Unnecessary Roughness Podcast didn’t just focus on the hoops matchup with Obama.
Check out the Q&A below
Kellogg also discussed the FBI’s investigation of the NCAA. Kellogg’s view is that players should be receiving more benefits than they currently do. However, paying student athletes is not something that will solve the bigger issue. “I draw the line on paying the players,” he said.
“What I would like to see is a way to enhance the benefits and increase the value of the scholarships so that there are no costs at all associated with being an athlete on scholarship”