Fran: 'It meant a lot' president tried to watch game

Published: January 31 2014 | 10:20 am - Updated: 29 March 2014 | 2:57 am in

IOWA CITY — President Barack Obama is a college basketball aficionado. President Obama fills out a bracket every year on ESPN, he has visited with the basketball squad at Wisconsin and his brother-in-law, Craig Robinson, coaches Oregon State.

Tuesday, before his annual State of the Union address, President Obama reportedly wanted to watch the Iowa-Michigan State men's basketball game. Instead, his staffers instructed him to watch CSPAN.

In this case, it's the thought that counts for Iowa Coach Fran McCaffery.

"I know the President is a huge basketball fan," McCaffery said this morning. "That, to me, it meant a lot because he’s really in tune with what’s going on and for him to think that much of our team and that game, especially in light of what he’s getting ready to do, is pretty amazing."

McCaffery has become friends with Robinson — the brother of First Lady Michelle Obama — and was interested in inviting Obama to play basketball in 2012.

"When (President Obama) came to town, I reached out to Craig to see if he wanted to play," McCaffery said. "He was coming through Iowa City. He was ripping and running — that was election season — he didn’t really want to do that at the time. I’d really like to meet him sometime. Obviously he’s pretty busy."

When President Obama visited with the Wisconsin basketball team before the 2012 election, he promised the Badgers he'd watch them play. Well, Wisconsin plays at Iowa on Feb. 22.


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