(Photo: Reuters/Jim Young)
Call it an epic fail or a brickfest, but President Barack Obama could perhaps have built himself a little house with the number of bricks he threw down on the White House basketball court during the Easter Egg Roll festivities on Monday.
For all his bluster about his basketball skills on the court and the endless reporting on his regular pick-up games off camera, President Obama, 51, seemed to have suffered a terrible case of performance anxiety as the media and an audience of young children and members of the Washington Wizards, including star guard John Wall, watched him release brick after brick.
"I gotta hit one shot before I go," the President could be heard saying in this video after his fourth failed shot as his audience ooohhhed, ahhhed and awwwed at his struggles.
"Brickhouse!" one spectator yelled, while another could be heard offering the President an encouraging "there you go" before the premature praise was abruptly cut with a muffled "Oh!" when the ball bounced off the rim with a clunk.
The President missed the basket ten more times in a series of shots that included more clunkers, a pitiful airball and a lethargic lay-up. It was only after he shared the basketball with 10-year-old spectator, Kahron Campbell, who demonstrated a successful lay-up for him, did Obama make his first winner.
"He couldn't make one. I had to help him out," said Campbell of Landover, Md., according to the pool report.
Basketball holds an almost hallowed place in the Obama family; President Obama reportedly said he coached his daughter Sasha's basketball team to a tournament win last year and his brother-in-law Craig Robinson is the head coach at Oregon State University.
President Obama has even involved the game in diplomatic relations, treating British Prime Minister David Cameron to the opening game of the NCAA's March Madness in Dayton, Ohio, last year.
But you wouldn't get that impression from the official pool report on the President's brick show at the White House that reads: "Miss. Miss. Off the rim. Miss. Miss. Off the rim. Airball. He moved closer to the net. But time and again, he missed. Of 22 shots POTUS took, he made two," according to this report.
When later asked by a CBS News reporter at a press conference about the President's lackluster showing on the court, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney smiled smugly before asking the reporter, "What are you saying?"
The room erupted in laughter.
"The president has confessed that he feels badly about missing…," said the reporter.
"Well, I have not spoken to him about that but the President doesn't get to practice probably as much as he'd like to. And having done a few shootarounds with him he's a pretty good shot, pretty good shot," said Carney.
The reporter, however, highlighted that President Obama had his own private basketball court at the White House.
"Yeah, well, these are busy times," said Carney.