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President Obama Honors 2012 WNBA Champion Indiana Fever
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President Obama Honors 2012 WNBA Champions Indiana Fever

Jun 14 2013, 8:36pm CDT | by

President Barack Obama honored the 2012 WNBA Champion Indiana Fever at the White House on Friday.

President Barack Obama honored the 2012 WNBA Champion Indiana Fever at the White House on Friday.  Valerie Bonk of the Associated Press reports the president called the team role models for young...

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President Obama Honors 2012 WNBA Champions Indiana Fever

Jun 14 2013, 8:36pm CDT | by

President Barack Obama honored the 2012 WNBA Champion Indiana Fever at the White House on Friday.

President Barack Obama honored the 2012 WNBA Champion Indiana Fever at the White House on Friday. 

Valerie Bonk of the Associated Press reports the president called the team role models for young athletes - even those on his daughter Sasha's basketball team. He added that their 2012 season was also an inspiration for basketball fans everywhere, including his daughter, whose team he sometimes coaches

"For her to have wonderful role models like this who work hard and know how to play like a team, are incredibly poised, are competitors but also show good sportsmanship, that's the kind of models you want for your children."

The White House's official website also quotes the president as saying the Fever's blue collar work ethic represented traditional Midwestern values

"And while our towns have a friendly rivarly going on, I still recognize those Midwestern values when I see them. We saw it in the Indiana Fever, which is, you look out for your teammates. You kept fighting, no matter what gets thrown at you. As Coach [Lin] Dunn put it: 'We're all blue collar. We work hard on defense. We rebound. We're tough.'"

Coach Dunn, who gave the president a high-five during the festivities, applauded her team for its grace under pressure. 

"This is an amazing group of people. What they did under tremendous adversity - they kept fighting back. Nobody expected us to win the conference and certainly no one, none of the reporters, you know all those people, none of them picked us to win."

The Fever presented the president with some gifts - a basketball and a jersey with his name on it. 

President Obama also thanked the Fever for giving back not only to the local community, but also to the country. Tamika Catchings' foundation, Catch the Stars, works with First Lady Michelle Obama's program, Let's Move!

"Players on the Fever have received a combined 13 WNBA Community Assist Awards for countless hours they spend volunteering. They visit local school kids as part of the Read to Achieve Program. They've teamed up with Habitat for Humanity to help build homes for folks in Indianapolis. And right after this, they're going to run a basketball clinic on the South Lawn for young people here in D.C."  

The Indiana Fever captured their first title last October by beating the Minnesota Lynx 87-78. They also brought home the state of Indiana's first basketball championship since 1973. 

 

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Poch de la Rosa follows all major U.S. sports: NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL and the NCAA. His favorite teams are the Colts, Braves, Pacers, Sharks and Irish, respectively.

 

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