Duke celebrates 2015 championship at the White House with President Obama
Coach Mike Krzyzewski and the Duke men's basketball team celebrated their fifth national championship in the nation's capital capped off by a visit to the White House Tuesday afternoon.
"We thought about inviting the Cameron Crazies here, but I didn't want any blue paint smudging my walls," President Obama joked. "We weren't sure if the risers could take it if they were jumping up and down."
Obama welcomed Coach K and Blue Devils along with representatives from the university, members of Congress and his cabinet. Obama also pointed out Duke's student manager Derek Rhodes, who interned at the White House. "A little White House magic rubbed off on this team," Obama said.
Obama recognized the individual achievements of the players from fellow Chicago resident Jahlil Okafor to unsung championship hero Grayson Allen. The President also praised the team's volunteer efforts in the North Carolina community.
"This is the kind of program that we hope for in any institution of higher learning. They represent their university well on and off the court. That's why their fans are so passionate, that's why sometimes there's going to be some haters. But they deserve every accolade," Obama said. "They got a great leader in Coach K and it's an outstanding university and program. They deserve our hearty congratulations."
It is the second time Duke has been invited to the White House during the Obama administration. The Blue Devils previously won the tournament in 2010.
Coach K was quick to point out that Obama hasn't made a trip to Cameron Indoor Stadium.
“We've been to your house twice and you’ve never been to our house. We have to correct that in about a little over a year."
The Blue Devils presented Obama with a Duke jersey, game ball, 2015 bracket and a scholarship to play at K Academy.
We brought some gifts for President Obama pic.twitter.com/qScOk23DRg— Duke Basketball (@dukeblueplanet) September 8, 2015
The visit to the White House concluded Duke's two-day trip to Washington D.C.. On Monday, the Blue Devils were treated to a private viewing of the nation's historical documents such as the Declaration of Independence, Bill of Rights and U.S Constitution, which are housed at the National Archive.
Later on Monday evening, Coach K surprised the team with their national championship rings during dinner at the archives. Duke captured its fifth national championship with a 68-63 victory against Wisconsin in the NCAA Tournament in Indianapolis.