On Tuesday, for the eighth and final time in his presidency, Barack Obama completed his NCAA Tournament brackets on a giant whiteboard in the Oval Office. The tradition of “Baracketology” is one of several nods that the president has made to his favorite sport. As Alexander Wolff ’79 writes in The Audacity of Hoop: Basketball and the Age of Obama, “other than golf to Ike, no game has been as tightly lashed to a president as basketball to Obama.”
Eisenhower’s fanatical devotion to golf inspired at least three books; for Obama and hoops, Wolff’s is the first.
Wolff, a senior writer at Sports Illustrated, explains Obama’s basketball biography as a long and meaningful thread in his life story, dating back to the year when his father, Barack Sr., gave him a ball for Christmas. And the game may have helped to pave his way to the White House in 2008: Hoops-themed campaign stops aided strong primary performances in places such as North Carolina and Indiana. Continue reading