Obama had to quit coaching Sasha’s basketball team because other parents complained: book

Former President Obama reveals in his new memoir that, despite a successful stint coaching his daughter Sasha Obama’s school basketball team, he gave up the role after fellow parents at her elementary school complained.

The former president shares the story in his new memoir, “A Promised Land,” that was released on Tuesday. Around 2010, Obama and former first lady Michelle Obama would cheer Sasha on at basketball games at the Washington, D.C., school Sidwell Friends, according to an excerpt from the book published by the Sunday Times.

Obama and his aide Reggie Love, who previously played on Duke University’s men’s basketball team, began coaching and running practices for Sasha Obama’s team, which was named the Vipers.

“After observing an adorable, but chaotic, first couple of games, Reggie and I took it upon ourselves to draw up some plays and volunteered to conduct a few informal Sunday afternoon practice sessions with the team. We worked on the basics: dribbling, passing, making sure your shoelaces were tied before you ran onto the court,” Obama writes. 

“And although Reggie could get a little too intense when we ran drills — ‘Paige, don’t let Isabel punk you like that’ — the girls seemed to have as much fun as we did,” he continues.

The 44th president notes that, when the team won the school’s league championship with 18 points to their rival’s 16 points, the two “celebrated like it was the NCAA finals.”

However, Obama adds, “But of course nothing about our lives was completely normal anymore as I was reminded the following year, when, in true Washington fashion a few of the parents from a rival Sidwell team started complaining to the Vipers coaches and presumably the school that Reggie and I weren’t offering training sessions to their kids, too.” 

“We explained that there was nothing special about our practices. That it was just an excuse for me to spend extra time with Sasha. And we offered to help other parents organize practices of their own,” Obama shares, adding that Love joked that the parents “must think being coached by you is something they can put on a Harvard application.”

Obama notes in his new memoir that it was “simpler for all concerned” for him to return to being a fan of the team and that “given all the time I’d missed with the girls over years of campaigning and legislative sessions, I cherished the normal dad stuff that much more.”  

Sasha Obama is currently a sophomore at the University of Michigan. Her sister, Malia Obama, is a senior at Harvard University.

The former president’s new book addresses a slate of issues from his political and personal life, including the selection of former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) as the late Sen. John McCain’s (R-Ariz.) 2008 running mate, the fight to pass the Affordable Care Act and more.

Tags Barack Obama John McCain Michelle Obama President Obama Sasha Obama

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