In 1865, four months after the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln, new president Andrew Johnson invited the baseball team the Brooklyn Atlantics to the White House. Going undefeated in professional baseball that year the team were the ipso facto champions of Professional Baseball.
Now, in his time in office Johnson did many exceptionally important things that would impact generations to come but that small gesture of PR Good will, started a trend in the Oval Office, the trend in which champion sports teams and athletes would receive the invitation to visit the president in Washington.
Continuing this tradition, and capping off an incredibly busy off season for the University of Louisville basketball teams, the Cardinals were invited by President Obama to the White House Tuesday, July 23, 2013.
Famously, Obama draws out his own bracket annually, and this year the President did say the Cards would meet Indiana in the championship game, but concluded his bracket by giving the championship to IU. As many will no doubt still remember the Hoosiers suffered a loss to Syracuse, leaving the Cards to play Michigan, who of course Louisville claimed a victory over.
All that said, showing no bitterness towards the snub the Cards did come bearing gifts, a Louisville Slugger Bat, a Cardinal basketball, and a personalized Louisville jersey for the President which he proudly displayed in a photo op with the team.
In Chane Behanan’s defense the team had an exceptionally long day when current Minnesota Timberwolf and Louisville star center, Gorgui Dieng caught the athlete sleeping in the white house as can be seen here.
The Cards had actually received their championship rings a day prior, take a look:
This meeting proved a memorable experience for the entire University and should bring even more attention to the school in coming years.
Images courtesy of Bleacher Report