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June 22, 2011 at 6:43 PM

Storm to meet President Obama

Obama.jpgOne of the popular chants after the Storm won its second championship in September was, “We’re going to meet Obama!” It appeared the traditional handshake with the nation’s first black president was as important as the win itself. Seattle swept through the postseason with seven consecutive victories — a WNBA first.
The President did make a congratulatory call last fall, but he spoke with front office as all of the players had departed in preparation for play overseas or to compete in the FIBA World Championships. No worries. The entire organization will be honored June 29 at the White House. It will coincide with the Storm’s three-game road trip to Connecticut (July 1), Washington (July 3), and Indiana (July 5).
President Obama is expected to host the team for a Rose Garden ceremony. WNBA president Laurel Richie also will attend, accepting recognition for the league’s historic 15th season.
Following the ceremony, Storm players will host a WNBA FIT clinic for local youth on the White House basketball court. The clinic will be done in connection with Let’sMove!, First Lady Michelle Obama’s national campaign to tackle childhood obesity.
Despite winning the 2004 championship, this is the Storm’s first trip to the White House. No official reason has been given for why former President George W. Bush didn’t host the team. But several Seattle players have met the nation’s leader in the past.
Arrangements were made last summer for F Le’coe WIllingham to attend the ceremony with her 2009 championship Phoenix team. PG Sue Bird and F Swin Cash were honored by Bush in 2002 for the University of Connecticut winning the NCAA title. Cash has also been a guest at the current First Lady’s charity events.
*PHOTO CREDIT: President Barack Obama by The Associated Press

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