Man who elbowed Obama in basketball game ‘felt horrible’

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“I felt horrible,” Decerega said in an interview with the Boston Globe. “I’ve played basketball a million times in my life and I’ve never elbowed anybody. So the first time I do this, it’s to the President of the United States? What is the probability of that? Nil, right?”

Obama received a dozen stitches in his upper lip after the game as Education Secretary Arne Duncan, former aide Reggie Love, and others, including family members who had flown in for Thanksgiving weekend, looked on.

Decerega, the director of programs for the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute, needed four stitches in his right elbow.

"I learned today the president is both a tough competitor and a good sport,” he said in a statement at the time. “I enjoyed playing basketball with him this morning. I'm sure he'll be back out on the court again soon."

But Decerega didn’t give any interviews in the immediate aftermath, telling the Boston Globe this week that he didn’t want the incident to “define” his life.

“I didn’t want that to define my life,” he said. “I had no desire to bring attention to myself in an accident that caused somebody pain. I didn’t want to disrespect the President of the United States.”