Obama takes in basketball game on carrier

Nov. 12, 2011 at 1:30 AM
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SAN DIEGO, Nov. 12 (UPI) -- U.S. President Barack Obama was one of more than 8,000 spectators Friday at an NCAA basketball game on board the USS Carl Vinson in San Diego.

The president sat courtside at the Carrier Classic, where No. 1 Duke beat Michigan State 67-55. First lady Michelle Obama and Medal of Honor recipient John Baca sat near the president, who talked with people sitting near him and signed some autographs -- but declined to join in a crowd wave when it reached his section in the second half.

At one point, the president gave a live interview on ESPN. At another, the game was stopped for a flag lowering ceremony.

Former NBA great Magic Johnson, on hand as a Michigan State alumnus, said the experience was a thrill.

"This is like a bucket list situation for me," Johnson said. "Just wonderful."

After the visit to the carrier, the president took off in Air Force One for Hawaii and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit.

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