WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama honored the University of Connecticut women’s basketball team Wednesday, calling its players incredible athletes, outstanding women, and role models on and off the court.
Obama welcomed the Huskies at a White House ceremony commemorating their eighth NCAA championship. In April the Huskies defeated Louisville 93-60 in the tournament final.
Obama joked that Coach Geno Auriemma “spends more time than some presidents” at the executive mansion. Auriemma quipped that “it doesn’t get old” as he and the team presented Obama with an autographed basketball and jacket.
Obama said the Huskies won for being at their best when the stakes were high. He singled out Breanna Stewart, who was named most outstanding player of the Final Four.
The president also highlighted the team’s community service, such as visiting seriously ill children at the Hole in the Wall Gang Camp and joining in the Walk for Autism.
The president said he was especially proud of the players for being role models to his daughters Sasha, 12, and Malia. 15.
“As the father of two young, beautiful, athletic and tall daughters, it just always puts a smile on my face whenever I see such class acts represent their school and their country so well,” he said.