LeBron, Wade, Obama play hoops for troops

By NATASHA T. METZLER
Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama pulled together an informal

dream team of current and former basketball superstars Sunday. But only

a few people got to see it.

LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Carmelo Anthony and other NBA all-stars joined Obama in Washington to entertain wounded troops.

The present-day stars were joined by some retired legends, including

Bill Russell and Magic Johnson. College player Maya Moore of the

Connecticut Huskies women’s team also played.

The game was played for a group of “wounded warriors” — troops injured

in action — and participants in the White House’s mentoring program.

It took place at a gym inside Washington’s Fort McNair, a short drive

from the White House. The president was inside the gym for about two

hours.

The reporters assigned to keep tabs

on the president were shut out of the gym, forced to wait in vans

outside. Asked why media coverage was blocked, White House Press

Secretary Robert Gibbs said Obama “just wanted to play.”

After the game some of the players joined Obama and a group of his

friends for a barbecue at the White House, capping the president’s 49th

birthday week.

A small tent and tables

decorated with sunflowers and yellow and white tablecloths were being

set up on the South Lawn when Obama returned from playing basketball.

The White House said the meal will include shrimp from the Gulf of

Mexico.

First lady Michelle Obama and

daughter Sasha returned to the White House on Sunday night after a

vacation in Spain. The Obamas’ older daughter, Malia, is away at summer

camp.

Received 08/08/10 08:08 pm ET