TOWSON, Md. (WJZ)– President Obama touches down in Maryland. He watches as Towson University takes on Oregon State.
Weijia Jiang has more on who the president was here to cheer on.
The president’s brother-in-law coaches the team that visited. His being here certainly put Towson University in the national spotlight, and gave those lucky enough to score a ticket an opportunity of a lifetime.
When President Barack Obama and the First Lady took off from the White House Saturday in Marine One, hundreds were anxiously waiting at their destination– Towson University.
“Everybody’s like, ‘The president’s coming, the president’s coming!’” said Nyree Williams of the Towson women’s basketball team.
The sold out crowd at the men’s basketball game erupted in cheers when the couple arrived and took their court side seats. Michelle Obama’s brother Craig Robinson is the head coach for Oregon State University’s team, who beat the Towson Tigers 66-46.
First daughters Malia and Sasha sat in the first row of bleachers.
“It’s pretty exciting, I mean, you’re looking over at the president watching the game with you and he’s 10 feet from you,” Andy O’Brien of Towson said.
“When I first saw him, I was really psyched,” said Jordan Foster of Towson.
Catching an Oregon State game has become a post Thanksgiving tradition for the first family. Last year, they watched the Beavers beat Howard University in Washington D.C.
“I caught a few glimpses of him,” Marcus Damas, captain of the Towson University men’s basketball team, said. “It was exciting to see a president. How many basketball players can say the president can come see them play? It meant a lot.”
A huge basketball fan, the president plays pick-up games often, as with CBS Early Show’s Harry Smith.
Towson’s head coach said he could have used an extra player.
“I’d heard he was a pretty good jump shooter and we’d been struggling shooting for 3′s,” Pat Skerry, head coach of the Towson men’s basketball team, said. “Wanted to put him in the game, but couldn’t find a way to do that.”
No play time, but President Obama took pictures on the court with the Towson football team at halftime, adding to an already historic day.
“I just can’t remember anything being this big,” Allyson Wynn, a Towson alumnus, said.
The Obamas stayed for the entire game, and even after to shake hands with many people. It’s a pretty tight arena, so everyone had a chance to get a good, rare glimpse of the first family.
U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan also sat with the Obamas. He’s a former professional basketball player and friend of the president’s from their time in Chicago.