President Obama hurt in pick-up game

Updated: November 27, 2010, 7:33 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama received 12 stitches in his lip after being hit during a pick-up basketball game, the White House said Friday.

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Tim Sloan/AFP/Getty ImagesPresident Barack Obama walks to a waiting car after a game of basketball that left him with a 12-stitch cut in his lip.

White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said Rey Decerega, who works for the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute, inadvertently struck the president with his elbow Friday.

The president received the stitches in the doctor's office on the ground floor of the White House. Obama had traveled to Fort McNair with a group of family and friends for an early-morning game of basketball.

Obama is a sports fan, roots for his hometown Chicago teams -- particularly the Bulls and White Sox -- and has often gone golfing in addition to playing basketball.

The White House released a statement from Decerega, who says he enjoys playing basketball with Obama and is sure the president will be back out on the court again soon.

The president often is asked to opine on sports topics of the day. Not thrilled that LeBron James and Dwyane Wade turned down the Bulls this summer -- Obama told ABC's Barbara Walters that when it comes to the 8-7 Heat, it would be prudent for fans to have patience with the juggernaut.

Obama also has lobbied strongly for a college football playoff. Just after he was elected in 2008, the president told "60 Minutes" that he would use his influence to create such a system.

"If you've got a bunch of teams who play throughout the season, and many of them have one loss or two losses, there's no clear decisive winner. We should be creating a playoff system," he said then.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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