Basketball offers light moment in Obama visit

Eddie White, director of corporate communications for the Pacers, asks President Barack Obama a question during a visit to Ivy Tech Community College in Indianapolis. (WISH Photo)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — It wouldn’t be a proper visit to Indiana without the crowd razzing President Barack Obama about being a Chicago Bulls fan.

During the question-and-answer portion of Obama’s visit to Ivy Tech Community College in Indianapolis, Eddie White from the Pacers waved down the president to ask him a question.

“I’ll be honest with you, my game’s a little broke.”

“Where is your (basketball) game today?” asked White, director of corporate communications for the Pacers. “And one more thing, Tamika Catchings says she’s ready, one-on-one, any time you want.”

Catchings is, of course, the star of the championship-winning Indiana Fever. Obama noted that she refereed a 3-on-3 basketball game he played during a visit to Kokomo, Indiana years ago.

“She was a witness to my domination on the court,” Obama joked, before backing down on the one-on-one game against Catchings.

Obama said he wasn’t so sure about the challenge.

“I’ll be honest with you, my game’s a little broke,” Obama said. “I’ve been a little busy.”

“I just thought, oh what the heck. I mean again, this is Indiana, it’s basketball, and he’s the president and he loves basketball. So what the heck I asked the question,” said White.

The candid moment flooded social media, with “Eddie White” trending right along with #POTUS.

“Did I know there’d be an impact like this, no, that I’d be trending? Eddie White trending?  There’s something wrong with that,” he joked.

But that still didn’t stop White from talking basketball with one of the sport’s biggest fans on such a big stage. “I hope my son’s impressed. Trending, me? That’s crazy.”

Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard even took a moment to tease Obama about basketball while introducing the president at Ivy Tech.

“Despite the fact that you’re a Chicago Bulls fan, it’s with great enthusiasm I welcome you to Indianapolis,” Ballard said in his introduction.

While the rivalry provided a light moment to Obama’s visit, he also took it as an opportunity to promote the White House’s program for youth, My Brother’s Keeper.

Watch the entire interaction between White and Obama in the video player. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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