Obama Secretly Sucks at Basketball

David Maraniss biography slams his high school game
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 11, 2012 6:41 PM CDT
Obama Secretly Sucks at Basketball
US President Barack Obama pretends to shoot a basketball given to him by the University of Kentucky men’s basketball team during an event celebrating their 2012 NCAA championship in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC, on May 4, 2012. AFP PHOTO / Saul LOEB   (Getty Images)

President Obama, crappy hoops player? We've assumed he's good—biographer Jodi Kantor and NBA stars have said so—but an upcoming biography by David Maraniss begs to differ, Politico reports. As a prep school student in Hawaii, Obama made the team "more because of his intense passion for the game—his will—than anything else," writes Maraniss in Barack Obama: The Story. "The reality was that Barry, as skilled and intelligent a player as he was, could not stand out in this group."

"Decades later, a story emerged that his nickname was Barry O’Bomber, playing off his last name and a propensity to fire away from long range, but few team members recalled that nickname." A former alum recalls that Obama "loved basketball so much, I think a lot of things have been blown out of proportion." One apparent weakness: his jump. "In fact, [coach Chris] McLachlin coined a phrase for the phenomenon: Barry Obama, famous for his no-jump jump shot!" See more at the Washington Post. (More President Obama stories.)

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