While some lawmakers said they shot a few free throws at the member gym, others practiced at home over the weekend, like Rep. Mike McIntyre (D-N.C.), who played in the driveway with his son.
Freshman Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) professed that game-time prep consisted of going through the roster with fellow Angels on the House floor when they had a minute to spare.
“The bigger game is on the floor of Congress,” said Carson.
Despite the lack of preparation, the Angels — which also includes Reps. Jeff Denham (R-Calif.) and Tim Huelskamp (R-Kan.) and Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.) — rolled to an easy 49-34 victory against the Hoya Lawyas Tuesday night at Trinity Washington University.
The benefit — which raised nearly $540,000 on Tuesday — has garnered more than $5 million for The Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless since its inception in 1986.
The lawmakers quickly captured the lead in the second half, with point guard Richmond and Hill staffer Andrew Simpson orchestrating some impressive plays.
Despite the Angels’ superior performance, the crowd, which was mostly made up of Georgetown law students, saved their cheers for their professors.
“Whenever we come here, we always get bad-called! I think it’s a bias against Congress,” said Richmond, who is on his third year playing for the Angels.
But “bad calls” and all, the congressman said the game was a good chance to interact with his colleagues in a “fun way,” telling The Hill, “I think that’s what’s missing. The fact that you get to know people across the aisle, and you get to know how they think, and you get to know their life experiences.”
Jeffries said of the basketball showdown, “It’s a great opportunity for both representatives and senators — Democrats and Republicans — to come together, for a good cause, in a bipartisan way. I hope that we’ll be able to see more of this moving forward. Hopefully we can build upon this, and translate this onto the legislative process.”