Ben Simmons gets a special shout-out from President Obama

Jeff Eisenberg

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.

Next Obama noted a connection between Simmons' father and U.S. secretary of education Arne Duncan.

And finally Obama gave Simmons special permission from the Oval Office to skip a class or two.

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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Jeff Eisenberg is the editor of The Dagger on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!