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Obama sticks to election day tradition, plays hoops

November 06, 2012|By Kathleen Hennessey
  • In Chicago, President Obama calls Wisconsin volunteers during a visit to a campaign call center the morning of the election.
In Chicago, President Obama calls Wisconsin volunteers during a visit… (Carolyn Kaster / Associated…)

CHICAGO -- Now is not the time to mess with good luck rituals.

So President Obama played basketball with aides and friends -- including former Chicago Bull Scottie Pippen -- on Tuesday, sticking to his election day tradition.

Four years ago, Obama played ball before watching returns throughout his hunt for the Democratic nomination. The notable exception was a painful one for Obama's team -- the New Hampshire primary, which he lost.

"We made the mistake of not playing basketball once, I can assure you we’ll not repeat that," said Obama advisor Robert Gibbs.

PHOTOS: America goes to the polls

Obama started organizing the game last week. Gibbs said Obama asked an aide to enlist former aide Reggie Love to round up a team.

Aides were mum on exactly who was on the roster. But Obama friend Alexi Giannoulias was tweeting some details. Giannoulias said he was playing on a team with "Pippen and B.O." Education Secretary Arne Duncan, Obama friend Marty Nesbitt and former Bull Randy Brown also played, Giannoulias said.

A couple of hours later: "What a day! 'Coach Obama' coached us to victory! Great win, way to play, Pip!"

Later, Giannoulias told reporters the president's team won by about 20 points.

PHOTOS: President Obama’s past

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Kathleen.hennessey@latimes.com

Twitter: @khennessey

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