Obama works off Thanksgiving turkey, ham with hoops

On November 26, 2010, in Articles, Basketball, by Baller-in-Chief

Fresh from a big Thanksgiving dinner with family, friends and staff, President Obama awoke today and did what the rest of us should be doing: He got some exercise.

(From Richard Wolf for The Oval at USA Today Online)

Obama gets 12 stitches after basketball action

President Obama holds his lip after getting an elbow during a basketball game Friday morning. He later received 12 small stitches at the White House under local anesthetic. Photo By Tim Sloan, AFP/Getty Images

Update at 5:30 p.m. ET: The man who (accidentally) elbowed President Obama in the face during a pick-up basketball game today — requiring a dozen stitches to the presidential upper lip — has come forward.

Rey Decerega, who is the director of programs for the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute, issued this statement:

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

Update at 4:40 p.m. ET: Our colleague David Jackson reports that the White House has released more information:

The elbow to Obama’s lip “happened in the fifth of five games they played.”

The offending player, who remains nameless, “turned into POTUS, who was playing defense, to take a shot when the elbow hit the President in the mouth.”

Some of the players in today’s 5 v. 5 game–”none of whom were responsible for the elbow” to the president’s face–included Obama’s nephew Avery Robinson, Obama’s assistant Reggie Love and Education Secretary Arne Duncan.

Update at 2:45 p.m. ET: White House spokesman Robert Gibbs says the president got 12 stitches in his lip in the basketball game this morning with Reggie Love and members of his family.

Gibbs’ statement 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 today administered by the White House Medical Unit.

Medical personnel used a smaller filament to close the wound than is typically used, the press office said.

That increases the number of stitches but makes a tighter stitch and results in a smaller scar. The president received a local anesthetic during the treatment.

Earlier post: Fresh from a big Thanksgiving dinner with family, friends and staff, President Obama awoke today and did what the rest of us should be doing: He got some exercise.

Given the wet weather in Washington, the choice this morning was an easy one. Rather than setting off for the golf links, Obama chose indoor basketball.

The president left the White House at 9:30 and is playing five-on-five at nearby Fort McNair with personal assistant and ex-Duke University hoops star Reggie Love, as well as family members in town for the holiday. No word on whether that includes Oregon State University head coach Craig Robinson, the brother of first lady Michelle Obama.

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