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Obama treats friends with seafood from Gulf of Mexico on birthday

Last updated on: August 09, 2010 17:03 IST

Barack Obama traded passes and scuffles with famous hoopsters like Kobe Bryant and Earvin "Magic" Johnson ahead of a White House barbecue birthday bash where the US president treated his friends with seafood from oil-tainted Gulf of Mexico.

Obama turned 49 on August 4 but spent the day in his hometown, Chicago without his family. His wife Michelle and youngest daughter Sasha were holidaying in Spain. His eldest daughter Malia was away at camp.

With the family returning to the White House, Obama took time out from the pressures of presidency and spent time with the likes of Bryant (Los Angeles Lakers), LeBron James

(Miami Heat), Carmelo Anthony (Denver Nuggets) and former NBA star "Magic" Johnson (Lakers) and had a game of basketball.

Obama's birthday celebrity game also included retired NBA All-Star Alonzo Mourning, Derek Fisher of the Los Angeles Lakers, Carmelo Anthony, Chauncey Billups of the Denver Nuggets and Maya Moore of the WBA Connecticut Huskies.

Obama's friends from Hawaii, Chicago, Illinois, and college joined the president on Saturday at Andrews Air Force Base for a round of golf.

After playing basketball for two hours at Fort McNair near Washington, Obama hosted a birthday party for his friends where shrimps from oil-tainted Gulf of Mexico were on the menu for the informal meal outside on the South Lawn.

The White House said Obama wanted to send a clear message to the American people that seafood from the region is safe despite the BP oil leak.

The seafood industry in the Gulf Coast has been hard hit by the BP oil disaster.

Image: US President Obama waves after he leaves a restaurant on his birthday in Chicago | Photograph: Jason Reed/Reuters 

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