Heard on the Hill

Villanova Basketball Has a Fan in the President

The NCAA champs were welcomed at the White House

Barack Obama showed his love of college basketball one last time as president by welcoming this year’s NCAA champion  Villanova Wildcats to the White House.  

“I guess it is the blue and white house today,” Obama said, referring to Villanova’s school colors.  

“We have some big fans here, from both sides of the aisle in Congress ,” Obama said, looking at the front row where Reps. Patrick Meehan, R-Pa. , and Brendan F. Boyle, D-Pa. , sat next to Coach Jay Wright’s family.  

[ As Villanova and Oklahoma Play, so do Meehan and Cole ]  

Villanova's president, Rev. Peter Donohue, and its athletic director, Mark Jackson, stood with the team beside framed Villanova No. 44 jerseys that the team gave Obama.  

Obama recounted the team's victories in this year's NCAA tournament, including the last-second, three-point shot that secured the championship.  

President Barack Obama is presented with jerseys from the NCAA basketball champion Villanova Wildcats at the White House. (Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images)
President Barack Obama is presented with jerseys from the NCAA basketball champion Villanova Wildcats at the White House. (Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images)

“Unfortunately, perhaps the most important ‘Nova grad here, Dr. Jill Biden, could not be here. I think she may be teaching, but her husband Joe wants me to remind you that he picked ‘Nova to win it all,” Obama said.  

“That’s the kind of wise council I’m looking for from the vice president.”  

[ Fellow Democrats: There’s No Silencing Joe Biden ]  

Obama then referred to the Villanova stars by their nicknames.  

“We have the best dressed man in college basketball,” Obama said to screams from the crowd. “The George Clooney of coaches, Jay Wright.”  

The president called forwards Daniel Ochefu, "The Chef" and Kris Jenkins "Big Smooth." Jenkins, who attended Gonzaga College High School in Washington, made the buzzer-beating shot in the championship game to beat North Carolina.  

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