the president-elect has game

The Chicago Tribune has a column on Barack Obama as a basketball player.

But Obama, to borrow a playground term, is a “baller”—a player, even at age 47, of a populist, sweat-inducing, real sport and the possessor, to judge from the video of him in action, of no small amount of game. (He played Sunday at the University of Chicago Lab School.)

If you think that doesn’t mean something to those of us who continue to play pickup ball well past our physical primes, think again.

Well, it just so happens that one or two of those old ballers are sociologists, one of whom was quoted in the article:

“We just thought, ‘How cool that this guy’s an actual baller and continues to love the game despite the fact that he’s in his mid-40s and kind of a busy dude,” says Jeff Lin, who teaches criminology at the University of Denver.

Lin, a “pass-first point guard,” sees sociological implications in the new president bringing a game played fervently on city playgrounds and in rural Indiana gymnasiums to Pennsylvania Avenue.

“He plays the people’s sport,” Lin says.

Lin’s group blog, Setshot, considers the crossroads of sociology, basketball, and advancing age.

One thought on “the president-elect has game”

  1. Thanks for this. As a lifelong basketball player (also a pass-first PG) and hoops fanatic, I love this about Obama. Let’s hope our new president avoids the injuries that struck the group of grad students and profs I played with in grad school. In the course of a year, we had a separated shoulder (me), a torn ACL, and numerous broken fingers, sprained ankles, and sore knees.


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