A Thanksgiving weekend basketball game mishap Friday left President Barack Obama with a split lip and 12 stitches
A Thanksgiving weekend basketball game mishap Friday left President Barack Obama with a split lip and 12 stitches.
The president was elbowed in the mouth during a game with friends and family by Rey Decerega, who is the director of programs for the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute, the White House reveled late on Friday.
Decerega, who played for the opposing team, turned into the president—who was playing defense—to take a shot and elbowed Obama in the lip during the last of five games at a gym at Fort McNair, a nearby Army base in Washington.
“I learned today the president is both a tough competitor and a good sport. I enjoyed playing basketball with him this morning,” Decerega said in a statement. “I’m sure he’ll be back out on the court again soon.”
According to the press pool report, doctors gave the president a local anesthetic, then stitched his wound, using a smaller than normal medical filament, which required more stitches but will result in a smaller scar. The White House later clarified that the stitches were administered to the president’s upper lip.
“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 today administered by the White House Medical Unit,” White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said in a statement.
Obama was seen walking to the presidential motorcade with gauze to his mouth following the game, then watched from a window in the White House as first lady Michelle Obama and daughters Sasha and Malia received the official White House Christmas tree later that afternoon.
Obama has no public events on his schedule until Monday.
The president, who has played hoops with elite players like the University of North.Carolina men’s team and assorted NBA all stars, frequently makes unannounced trips to play basketball or golf on weekends. On Monday Obama will attend meetings at the White House and on Tuesday, he will host congressional Republicans, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Minority Leader John Boehner, for the postponed bi-partisan leadership meeting.