WASHINGTON, April 19 (UPI) -- President Obama saluted Alabama's national champion football team on the South Lawn of the White House Thursday, calling it an inspiration.
Obama called the Crimson Tide an inspiration for the way they led the state and the city of Tuscaloosa back from the tragedy of a deadly F4 tornado a year ago to the triumph of
Alabama's second national championship in three years.
"This was a fun season to watch, but it was also a deeply meaningful season for the Tide," said Obama. "What is even more impressive is that these young men showed that success isn't about the individual -- it's about the ability to work as a team."
The president praised the team for making time to assist the tornado recovery effort through fundraising and helping to clear debris.
"The Tide showed us what it takes to win as a team, but they also showed what it means to be a part of a larger community," he said.
Coach Nick Saban and his team presented Obama with the traditional jersey as well as a team helmet and thanked him for both the invitation to Washington and the "leadership offered our community in a very difficult time last year."