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Hall of Famer Nancy Lieberman challenges Obama to let her play in his all-guys basketball games

Basketball Hall of Famer Nancy Lieberman in action at 50

Nancy Lieberman, a Basketball Hall of Fame member, is calling the president out.

Barack Obama, who's noted that he's surrounded by females with his wife, two daughters and mother-in-law living with him, loves his basketball with male pals.

The president has had some recent basketball games on the White House basketball court  -- guys only. Mainly congressional guys.

Last Sunday for the first time as president he allowed a female to join his regular golfing foursome.

And that fraternity-like atmosphere has caused some gender grumbling.

Now, in a "frank" open letter to the Democrat chief executive today on More.com, Lieberman challenges Obama to some hoops mano a mana, so to speak. Basketball Hall of Famer Nancy Lieberman

She says:

Some women are saying you need a time-out. Your men-only basketball games have been scrutinized — and criticized for consistently leaving women out.

Your defenders call that charge ridiculous, saying everyone knows that women can play golf with men, but not basketball...which of course only annoys women more.

Well, I have a solution. To score some real points with the public, stop arguing and just play ball — with the best. Shoot some hoops with yours truly.

Lieberman, an Olympic gold medalist at 18, WNBA veteran and ESPN analyst, even signed a short-term contract to play as a pro at age 50. 

Her good-natured but firm letter says she'd like to help him bring change to the country. "It's what I've done my whole life as a woman in sports," she writes.

"It's always good for sports when new barriers are broken," she adds.

And Lieberman promises:

If invited to play at the White House, I solemnly vow to protect, preserve and defend the basketball until my team wins.

-- Andrew Malcolm

Speaking of three-pointers: Full gender equity over here. Anyone can get good political stories by clicking here for Twitter alerts of each new Ticket item. Or follow us   @latimestot  And we are also now on Facebook over here.

Photos: Associated Press; ESPN.

 
Comments () | Archives (7)

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Not gonna happen!!! Barak & his boys are not going to risk getting schooled by a woman player! Lieberman can beat a 3 on 1 by these guys. The embarrassment she could inflict upon them would be more than they could bear!

Nancy so men and women are equal right? I don't like where PC is taking this country!

I think it is ok for the presedent and his male friends to hang out from time to time without having to invite the ladies. As a man, I have no problem with ladies night at a bar or club designed for ladies to receive special entitlements. I'm not a pc kind of guy and I can live with the fact of females receiving preferential treatment in many cases. Now ladies, why can't you show a little understanding when we guys just trying to have a little time to unwind by playing or watching sports after a stressful work week? Why when a group of straight guys form a club, there always have to be a challenge from everyone else?

I wanna play, too!

Fact Check! Lieberman did NOT win the Olympic gold medal at age 18. In the '76 games, the USA team took Silver after being blown out by the Russians in the finals.

Yes, if you are going to rip off a story from a magazine without attribution, you should at least copy it down properly

What a riot. I hope he takes her up on it, but he's probably afraid she'd clean his clock.


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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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