Obama Gets 12 Stitches in Lip After Basketball Mishap

On November 27, 2010, in Articles, Basketball, by Baller-in-Chief

President Barack Obama got 12 stitches in his lip after being injured yesterday during a basketball game, spokesman Robert Gibbs said.

(From Roger Runningen for Bloomberg Online)

Obama Gets 12 Stitches in Lip After Basketball Mishap
U.S. President Barack Obama walks to his car with Secret Service Agents after a game of basketball with friends and aides on Nov. 26, 2010 at Fort McNair in Washington, DC. after he was injured during the game. Photographer: Tim Sloan/AFP/Getty Images

President Barack Obama got 12 stitches in his lip after being injured yesterday during a basketball game, spokesman Robert Gibbs said.

“After being inadvertently hit with an opposing player’s elbow in the lip while playing basketball with friends and family, the president received 12 stitches,” Gibbs said in a statement. The stitches were administered by the White House medical unit.

Obama played basketball for about 90 minutes at a gym at Fort McNair in Washington yesterday. The injury to the president’s upper lip occurred in the fifth of five games when Rey Decerega, director of programs for the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute, turned to take a shot and elbowed Obama in the mouth.

“I learned today the president is both a tough competitor and a good sport,” Decerega said in a statement released by the White House. “I enjoyed playing basketball with him this morning. I’m sure he’ll be back out on the court again soon.”

Also playing were Obama’s personal aide, Reggie Love, 29, a former college basketball player at Duke University; Education Secretary Arne Duncan, 46, who played in college on the Harvard University team and professionally in Australia; and family members and friends in Washington for Thanksgiving, according to the White House statement.

In treating the president’s upper lip, doctors used a smaller filament, which increases the number of stitches but makes a tighter stitch and results in a smaller scar, according to an e-mailed White House statement.

Obama, 49, received a local anesthetic for the stitches, the statement said.

Obama played basketball regularly during the 2008 presidential campaign and had a basketball court installed on the South Lawn of the White House. In addition to playing at Fort McNair, he plays at other local sites, including the Interior Department.

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