Players relish opportunity to play in front of Obama

President Barack Obama shakes hands with a referee during the First Four game between WKU and Mississippi Valley State Tuesday at the University of Dayton Arena in Dayton, Ohio. WKU beat MVSU 59-58.

Cole Claybourn

DAYTON, Ohio — All anyone had to do was throw an errant pass under the basket and the ball might have hit President Barack Obama.

Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron sat in the front row behind one of the baskets during WKU’s 59-58 come-from-behind win over Mississippi Valley State on Tuesday at University of Dayton Arena.

But freshman guards T.J. Price and Derrick Gordon and freshman forward George Fant said once the game started, they were only focused on the game.

“I mean, for him to be in the house, it’s a crazy feeling,” Gordon said. “That’s the President of the United States coming to watch our game. But I really didn’t look at him as much while the game was going on because we had to worry about taking care of our business.

“But we wanted to put on a show. I mean, things didn’t work out our way for 35 minutes, but it came out with a ‘W.’ I’m sure he liked what he saw.”

Price and Fant echoed Gordon’s remarks, saying they were too focused on the game to be distracted by Obama’s presence.