Barack Chalk: President meets with Jayhawks before Lawrence speech

President Barack Obama speaks at the University of Kansas after having met with Jayhawks coach Bill Self and his players.

Carolyn Kaster/AP

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Before Barack talked, he Rock Chalked.

President Obama, an avowed basketball fanatic, made a point to visit with the No. 11 Kansas men’s basketball team Thursday en route to a speech at KU’s Anschutz Sports Pavilion, a short walk from Allen Fieldhouse.

Obama spoke briefly with coach Bill Self and was presented with a white KU home jersey that had his name emblazoned on the back, along with the traditional number 1.

Which means he now shares a jersey with shooting guard Wayne Selden, and Selden was plenty cool with that:

The president’s Kansas ties are well known: His mother, Ann Dunham, was born in Wichita and later lived for a time in El Dorado. He even referenced the Jayhawks, and Self, during his speech — contrasting the coach’s 10 straight Big 12 Conference titles with his own numbers in the Republican-red Sunflower State:

"Coach Self has won 10 straight (championships), I lost two straight (here)," Obama cracked. "I might have won some sections of Lawrence. That might have happened."

The president might be 0-for-2 in Kansas, but Self is 1-0 in the District of Columbia with the Jayhawks. KU knocked off Big East-leading Georgetown at the Verizon Center 75-70 on Dec. 10.

You can follow Sean Keeler on Twitter at @SeanKeeler or email him at seanmkeeler@gmail.com.