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Why Obama Plays Basketball on Election Day

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Why Obama Plays Basketball on Election Day

ASSOCIATED PRESS

President Barack Obama, left, and Vice President Joe Biden take their seats as they attend an Olympic men's basketball exhibition game between Brazil and Team USA in Washington, Monday, July 16, 2012. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

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President Barack Obama has played basketball on every Election Day in his presidential run, except for one. He didn’t play the day of the New Hampshire Primary back in 2008, when he lost to Hillary Clinton.

He hasn't skipped a game since then. That’s why Tuesday afternoon’s game at Attack Athletics on West Harrison Street is a must on his schedule.

Former State Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias, who has been playing basketball with the president since before either of them was elected to public office, says today’s game will be special. He'll play basketball with “friends and staff,” according to a pool report. The roster includes Education Secretary Arne Duncan, Reggie Love, Mike Ramos and Marty Nesbitt.   

Giannoulias recalls the first Election Day game: “We played in Iowa, we found a cold gym in Des Moines, Iowa.” 

“We had nine guys, the tenth guy was actually the janitor who played in his blue jeans," he said. "That’s when no one thought we had a chance of winning.”

Giannoulias can’t help but reminisce. “Now here we are today with NBA stars and referees and it’s become an international event. So, it’s cool but we think about how the world has changed.” 
 

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