rediff.com

NewsApp (Free)

Read news as it happens
Download NewsApp

Available on  

Rediff News  All News 
Rediff.com  » Sports » Obama takes LA Lakers to community service project

Obama takes LA Lakers to community service project

Last updated on: December 14, 2010 09:42 IST

Obama wanted to do more than regular White House photo op

     Next

Next

Breaking with the tradition of congratulating teams at the White House, President Barack Obama took the NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers with him to a community service project at a Boys and Girls Club on Monday.

The president and players led by NBA star Kobe Bryant joined with the youth in putting together care packages for wounded service members and toiletry kits for the homeless before he congratulated them on their second straight title in a ceremony on the gym floor.

The Lakers won their second consecutive title this year, and their 16th championship overall.

Obama said he wanted to do something different than a White House photo opportunity this year with the Lakers.

"These guys have been there so often; they were just there last year because they won the title," Obama said.


Image: US President Barack Obama (centre) and LA Lakers' Kobe Byrant (right) help put together care packages for members of the military and homeless people at the Boys and Girls Club of Washington on Monday
Photographs: Reuters
     Next

'Kids feel special when people like Lakers spend time with them'

Prev     More
Prev

More

Bryant and teammate Derek Fisher have each won five NBA titles and coach Phil Jackson has won 11 titles with two teams.

Obama congratulated Jackson on his fifth championship with the Lakers, adding that Jackson coached Obama's hometown Chicago Bulls to one more at six titles.

"Not for long," Bryant said.

Calling the Lakers one of the outstanding sports franchises in American history, Obama wished the team luck and thanked them for setting an example of service and "being so generous with your time with these kids."

"When they see people like the Los Angeles Lakers who are willing to spend time with them, that sends a message to them that they're special," Obama said.


Image: US President Barack Obama (2nd from left) with members of the LA Lakers NBA basketball team

Prev     More
Source:
© Copyright 2014 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters. Reuters shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.