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Obama Takes His B-Ball Game to Interior Dept.

By Ed O'Keefe

In this file photo, President Obama shoots hoops in Union Mills, Ind. on May 1, 2008. (AP Photo/Ron Edmonds)

After attending a Washington Wizards-Chicago Bulls basketball game on Friday night, President Obama played some ball on Saturday at the Department of the Interior's indoor basketball court.

"Who knew they had a basketball court?" Dallas Morning News reporter Todd Gillman wrote in his pool report of the president's outing, which included some staffers and close friends.

The indoor court is in the basement of the Main Interior Building, part of recreational facilities that include a weight room, jazzercise/aerobics room, lockers, showers and a sauna, according to spokesman Frank Quimby. Interior employees use the court everyday and Sec. Ken Salazar plays there regularly. The hoops-loving former Colorado senator, who was once part of a Denver-area basketball league, is said to be a very strong player with "tough D," according to staffers. In January, Salazar challenged Obama to a basketball game during his first town hall meeting with department employees.

Workers finished renovations of the court and adjoining athletic facilities last year as part of a ten-year, building-wide modernization effort to bring the 1930s-era headquarters up to code by replacing its electrical, plumbing and HVAC systems as well as doors, windows and flooring.

Obama has played basketball at a few different indoor courts near the White House since moving permanently to Washington in early January. Some have suggested he replace the White House's basement bowling alley with an indoor court of his own.

By Ed O'Keefe  | March 2, 2009; 11:45 AM ET
Categories:  Administration, Agencies and Departments  
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Perhaps Obama should challenge the republican opposition to a "slam dunk" event; whenever there is a potential tight legislative situation.

Do you accept the challenge, Boehner, Cantor & Co?

Posted by: pKrishna43 | March 2, 2009 8:57 PM | Report abuse

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