As President Obama addressed a throng of supporters on Thursday at a political rally in Baton Rouge, he made a point to mention a famous face in the crowd.
It was Ben Simmons, the highly touted LSU forward who made a quick trip over to McKinley High School to hear Obama speak.
First came a simple shout-out.
Barack Obama shout out to Ben Simmons. https://t.co/fvC93pucN2— Cody Worsham (@CodyWorsham) January 14, 2016
Next Obama noted a connection between Simmons' father and U.S. secretary of education Arne Duncan.
Pres. Obama says Simmons' dad Dave played ball in Australia with Sec. of Education Arne Duncan, but "Ben is better." pic.twitter.com/h6krM9IDQd— Cody Worsham (@CodyWorsham) January 14, 2016
And finally Obama gave Simmons special permission from the Oval Office to skip a class or two.
President Obama officially has a Ben Simmons man crush. pic.twitter.com/WQjWjQD39R— Cody Worsham (@CodyWorsham) January 14, 2016
Simmons didn't get to shoot hoops with Obama like he had hoped, but he was nonetheless overjoyed that he got to shake the President's hand. The Australia native wrote on Instagram that he was "honored to have the opportunity to meet such a great leader and role model" and that it "will always be one of my greatest memories."
It's no surprise Obama was familiar with Simmons considering he is a basketball junkie. Simmons, the projected No. 1 pick in next June's NBA draft, is averaging 20.3 points, 12.6 rebounds and 5.3 assists as a freshman at LSU.
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