Local Politics

Obama joins Tar Heels in pick-up game

Posted April 29, 2008 11:07 a.m. EDT
Updated April 29, 2008 6:52 p.m. EDT

— Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama warmed up for another day of campaigning Tuesday playing basketball with the University of North Carolina Tar Heels at UNC's practice facility.

Obama walked onto the court with UNC coach Roy Williams and introduced himself to all of the players.

Tyler Hansbrough, Wayne Ellington, Ty Lawson, Marcus Ginyard and Danny Green talked with the presidential hopeful, who was dressed in dark sweatpants and a gray T-shirt.

Obama took a few practice shots before playing in a pick-up game with the UNC players. He played in the backcourt with Lawson on one team.

The Tar Heel players didn't go all out, but were throwing alley-oop passes and driving for dunks. At one point, Obama ran by the row of media cameras and said, "These guys are a lot better than I am."

But the U.S. senator from Illinois wasn't afraid to make one strong effort to add his name to the stats sheet. He drove hard on one play and almost snuck a lay-up in over Hansbrough's outstretched arm, but the shot clanged off the back of the rim.

After about six to seven minutes of play, Obama took a seat near Williams. Reporters weren't allowed close enough to hear what they discussed.

Before this year's NCAA Tournament, Obama announced that he thought UNC would win the national championship.