Carney and Baca unlikely stars at hoops game


Rep. John Carney (D), a Delaware freshman, made five free throws in a row Wednesday during a foul-shot contest hosted by the U.S. Olympic Committee. 

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Organizers set up a makeshift basketball net in a Rayburn committee room, complete with floorboards, and a half-dozen members took turns shooting five shots each. More than a dozen Olympic and Paralympic athletes also took part in the games.

Now, you might think that tall, athletic lawmakers like Reps. Joseph Crowley (D-N.Y.) and Jason Altmire (D-Pa.), both of whom participated, would have the advantage here. Not so.

On the contrary, it was the little guys, not the jocks, who took home the gold. 

In addition to Carney’s perfect score (Carney is about 5’7” tall), Rep. Joe Baca (D-Calif.) made a clean four out of five shots, prompting the 6’4” Crowley to challenge Baca, who is about 5’6”, to a little one-on-one. Things got heated, and Baca even managed to score on Crowley once, despite almost impossible odds. 

But Crowley, a former high school player, wasn’t finished. Before going over to the Capitol to vote, he dribbled down the lane and dunked a ball in the lower-than-regulation basket.

“Wow, that feels great!” he told ITK afterward. “I could only ever make lay-up dunks in school, so this was awesome.” 

For his part, Carney said he decided to come out to the competition after reading an ITK item about Crowley’s basketball prowess. “I came out to beat these guys!” he said triumphantly.

Another participant, Rep. Edward MarkeyEdward (Ed) John MarkeyThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Manafort sentenced to total of 7.5 years in prison Hillicon Valley: Google takes heat at privacy hearing | 2020 Dems to debate 'monopoly power' | GOP rips net neutrality bill | Warren throws down gauntlet over big tech | New scrutiny for Trump over AT&T merger Overnight Energy: EPA moves to raise ethanol levels in gasoline | Dems look to counter White House climate council | Zinke cleared of allegations tied to special election MORE (D-Mass.), gave Crowley a high-five after his round. “You’re good!” Markey exclaimed. “I only got four out of five.” By ITK’s count, Markey, in fact, made three out of five — but who’s counting?

If this had been a real game, special recognition would go to Rep. Laura Richardson (D-Calif.), who laced up her sneakers before shooting and made two out of five. Between shots, Richardson revealed that she tried out for the women’s Olympic basketball team in 1980. “That was the year the U.S. boycotted the Games,” she said, “so this cause is close to my heart.” 

Also taking a turn at the line were Reps. José Serrano (D-N.Y.),  Dave ReichertDavid (Dave) George ReichertYoder, Messer land on K Street Ex-GOP lawmaker from Washington joins lobbying firm Outgoing GOP rep says law enforcement, not Congress should conduct investigations MORE (R-Wash.), Doug Lamborn (R-Colo.), Ed Perlmutter (D-Colo.), Edolphus Towns (D-N.Y.) and Gregory Meeks (D-N.Y.) Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy Jean KlobucharO'Rourke says he won't use 'f-word' on campaign trail Officials dismiss criticism that Trump rhetoric to blame for New Zealand attack Trump reignites criticism of McCain months after senator's death MORE (D-Minn.). Reps. Jim Langevin (D-R.I.), Mike McIntyre (D-N.C.) and Leonard Lance (R-N.J.) dropped by but didn’t shoot.