Hard to say who was the most popular guy in the White House Rose Garden this morning: President Obama? Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski? Or Reggie Love?
Love, a former Duke basketball captain and member of the 2001 NCCA men’s championship team, also is Obama’s body man and frequent pickup teammate. He was notorious back in Durham for a shaky shooting percentage. He’s known around the White House as a big-time Blue Devils fan.
And he got the first big applause of the day when he walked onto stage, alone, to adjust something on Obama’s podium before the event started, reports Barb Barrett. “Reggie!” the crowd shouted, and broke into applause.
Later, Obama took a crack at Love’s expense:
"Now some of you may know that my assistant, Reggie Love, used to play for Coach K at Duke... In fact, Reggie was so excited to see his old coach today that I had to make him come out and run some sprint drills just to calm him down," Obama said.
He went on: “And then Coach and I were both discussing – I play with Reggie now, and when Reggie was playing, Coach said, ‘Don’t shoot!’
"And when he’s on my team, I say to Reggie, ‘Don’t shoot!’ So things haven’t changed.”
Obama made like he was waving down the court at Love. “’Go down in the post, rebound.’”
After the ceremony, local reporters asked the press office about interviews: Will Reggie come out? Can we talk to Reggie?
Alas, Love was back inside the White House with Obama and former President Bill Clinton, shooting photos with the men’s 2010 World Cup soccer team.
“Hey Reggie,” Clinton called out to him, “Are they going to give you another chance to play for Duke? Did they draft you?"