WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama honored Duke on Tuesday for winning its fifth NCAA basketball championship and lauded the team for its work on and off the court.
During a White House ceremony, Obama said Duke basketball is a model for other colleges. He noted that five players made the all-conference academic squad. The players also have visited local elementary schools to encourage children to read and volunteered as mentors.
Obama also jokingly told the team he noticed similarities they shared with him: Doing well in the classroom, winning twice in the last four years and knowing what it's like for people to oppose you no matter what you do. The four-year reference was a slight exaggeration. Duke also visited the White House after winning in 2010.
Duke Coach Mike Krzyzewski said the team was a fun group to coach. He also awarded the president a scholarship to attend a fantasy basketball camp. He said the camp is for players 35-and-older, prompting the president to reply "I'll dominate."
"Thanks for sharing that year with me," Krzyzewski told his team. "And the guys coming back, if you could do that again, I wouldn't mind."