Larsen hoops it up with Obama

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Politics were on the back burner this afternoon as members of Congress and the presidential cabinet — including President Barack Obama and Rep. Rick Larsen — took part in a pick-up basketball session.

Larsen (D-Wash.) suited up with a number of fellow Congressmen during two round robin tournaments, which took place on Thursday, Oct. 8 at the White House.

"We played full-court, five-on-five," Larsen said after the games. "The president has some game. He can shoot from long range and was good on the fast break, just like a good point guard should be."

Larsen said he guarded the president a few times during the six games, but wasn't matched up with him directly.

"The president drove to the bucket and got fouled a few times," Larsen said. "It shows he's willing to put himself out there."

Larsen took some damage during the games, suffering a "big scuff" on his shin and. He also got hit in the face.

The U.S. representative said he won about half of the games played, adding that he enjoyed building relationships with his fellow Congressmen and White House cabinet members.

The game took place at 2 p.m. PST on the White House's outdoor basketball court.

Larsen said that he had been trying to schedule a basketball game since last May when Obama was campaigning.

"After he became president, in addition to working on the issues, he expressed a willingness to play some basketball," Larsen said. "It's been a while since we've all been very busy."

Other players who participated in the game were Reps. Mike Arcuri (D-N.Y.), John Boccieri (D-Ohio), Brad Ellsworth (D-Ind.), Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), Baron Hill (D-Ind.), Jay Inslee (D-Wash.), Frank Kratovil (D-Md.), Patrick Murphy (D-Pa.), John Shimkus (R-Ill.) and Heath Shuler (D-N.C.).

Cabinet members included Shaun Donovan, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, Secretary of the Treasury Tim Geithner and Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar.

"It was a lot of fun," Larsen said. "I know it was a good time for White House and for Congress."

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