By Matthew Larotonda
WASHINGTON — The Obama family left the White House for nearby College Park, Md., today to watch an evening basketball match-up between the University of Maryland and Oregon State. First lady Michelle Obama’s brother, Craig Robinson, is the coach of the Oregon State Beavers.
President Obama and the first lady, daughters Sasha and Malia, and grandmother Marian Robinson were joined by Craig’s wife Kelly Robinson and their young son in the stands. Rep. Steny Hoyer, D-Md., also came over to say hello, according to press traveling with the president.
As the Terrapins and Beavers battled, the president and first lady occasionally worked the crowd, chatting with students and fans.
The nail-biter of a game ended with victory for the visiting Oregon at 90-83.
Craig Robinson has often reminisced on his relationship with his brother in law and how they had bonded over their favorite sport as younger men. In a 2010 interview with ABC News, the coach admitted to using the game to test Obama’s worth when he had first begun dating Robinson’s sister.
“[Michelle] called me up and said, ‘Hey, listen: Barack fashions himself a basketball player, and I want you to take him to go play with you and see what kind of guy he really is,’ because she grew up hearing my dad and me talk about how you can tell people’s personality on the court in sports in — in stressful situations,” he recollected.
According to Robinson, his sister typically did not hold on to boyfriends for more than a few months. But Obama stood out with a good sense of humor, friendly demeanor, and athleticism.
“He could play. You know, 80 — 85 percent of the people out there are pickup basketball players,” Robinson. “He could fit in with all of them. [...] The thing that I liked the most that he did was that he did not just pass me the ball, because he was dating my sister. That was impressive.”