WASHINGTON – Call it the final hurrah for a maiden run to the championship-and for some it might have been the most exciting for one.
Friday was the Fever coach Lin Dunn’s first visit to the White House since she was five years old with the Girl Scouts.
When she stepped to the podium in front of dozens of fans and cameras Friday afternoon at the White House, she immediately praised her host – President Barack Obama.
“Thank you so much for inviting us here to see the White House to meet you, that’s really special too,” said Dunn. “Because I’m a Democrat.”
Plenty of smiles and laughs followed the comment and they continued over the next 15 minutes as the 2012 WNBA Champion Fever were honored by the President. It’s the first time the Fever have participated in the traditional honoring of a professional sports champion after the franchise captured its first title last fall with a win over the Minnesota Lynx in the WNBA Finals.
The President was presented with a Fever jersey bearing his name, a WNBA champions hat along with a basketball signed by the entire team. Mr. Obama praised the team for their ability to win a championship despite a number of injuries throughout the regular season and playoffs.
“I still recognize those Midwestern values when I see them, we saw it in the Indiana Fever,” said the President with the team standing behind him. “Which is you look out for your teammates, you keep fighting no matter what gets thrown at you.”
Also along for the ceremony was the Women’s Basketball team from DePauw University, which captured the Division III National Championship this past spring. Dunn reiterated a number of times the thanks to the President for the invitation and also his service to women’s athletics.
“I want to thank you personally, you and the First Lady, for all you do to empower women. You have no idea,” said Dunn to Mr. Obama. “Every day, you both send a strong message that little girls can do anything they want to do, and they can be anything they want to be.”