Tuesday March 13, 2012

Timeout at UD Arena

President Obama gave British PM David Cameron a few basketball lessons, and UD Arena proved again it's an unbeatable venue for March Madness.

The Mississippi Valley State Delta Devils thought they got robbed early in the first half, but a goaltending call gave President Barack Obama a teachable moment during the NCAA First Four at University of Dayton Arena March 13-14.

Basketball fans could imagine that he explained to his guest, British Prime Minister David Cameron, why the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers garnered two points while the ball never went through the basket.

Obama, invited by the NCAA, became the first sitting president to visit the University of Dayton.

As they finished their hotdogs, the world leaders also discussed a player control foul committed under the Hilltoppers' basket. Obama leaned in to Cameron, then pointed to the replay board as a digital Delta Devil again went sprawling.

 Obama and Cameron arrived after an operatic national anthem and the herding in of the White House press corps. The audience knew something special was about to happen, staying standing and eyeing the Dayton Flyers' team tunnel until the president emerged.

Obama shook hands with the students around him before waving to the crowd and enjoying the game, then a hot dog. University of Dayton senior Jacob Rosen tweeted from nearby: "I believe David Cameron chose ketchup over mustard for his front row hot dog. Adjust your UK stock projections accordingly."

The University of Dayton has welcomed other presidents — Jimmy Carter in 1992, Gerald Ford in 1986 and then-candidate George W. Bush in 2000.

But never a sitting president and never at a basketball game at an arena named one of the best basketball venues in the nation. Flyer Faithful know it. Now Obama and Cameron do, too.

For more information, contact Shawn Robinson, associate director of media relations, at 937-229-3391 or srobinson@udayton.edu.