Mr. President Obama Goes Hard In The Paint And Gets 12 Stitches

President Obama needed 12 stitches in his lip after taking an errant elbow during a pickup basketball game yesterday morning with family and friends visiting for the Thanksgiving holiday, the White House said.

First word of the injury came in a statement from press secretary Robert Gibbs nearly three hours after the incident.

The White House identified the player causing the injury as Rey Decerega, director of programs for the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute.

Obama received the stitches under local anesthesia in the doctor’s office on the ground floor of the White House after returning home. Doctors used a smaller filament than typically used, which increases the number of stitches but makes a tighter stitch and leaves a smaller scar.

The president had gone to nearby Fort McNair to indulge in a game of basketball, one of his favorite athletic pursuits. It was a five-on-five contest involving family and friends. Among the players were Obama’s nephew, Avery Robinson; Education Secretary Arne Duncan; and Reggie Love, Obama’s personal assistant, who played at Duke University.

The White House said the injury happened during their fifth and final game when Decerega turned to take a shot and hit Obama, who was playing defense.

Obama emerged from the building wearing a short-sleeve T-shirt and gym pants, dabbing at his mouth with what appeared to be a wad of gauze.

“I learned today the president is both a tough competitor and a good sport,’’ Decerega said in a statement through the White House.

“I enjoyed playing basketball with him this morning. I’m sure he’ll be back out on the court again soon.’’

TAGS: Obama Goes Hard In The Paint, President Obama


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