HONOLULU (Reuters) - The Oregon State University men’s basketball team might have felt some additional pressure on Sunday when first fan, U.S. President Barack Obama, and family showed up to cheer the team at a tournament in Hawaii.
The OSU Beavers are coached by Craig Robinson, Michelle Obama’s older brother. They held a 6-2 record going into a matchup with the University of Akron Zips at the Diamond Head Classic, an annual eight-team invitational event.
The Obamas, with daughters Malia, 15, and Sasha, 12, arrived at their courtside seats just before game-time to muted cheers from a crowd that filled about half of the 10,300-seat Stan Sheriff Center.
Obama wore a lilac polo shirt and dark slacks. Wife Michelle Obama wore a red and white striped t-shirt, shorts and sandals.
Obama moved from his seat at times to chat with White House chef Sam Kass, who was sitting nearby. Also in his party was Bobby Titcomb, a boyhood friend of Obama; members of Craig Robinson’s family, and Marian Robinson, the mother of Michelle and Craig.
The stadium, on the University of Hawaii campus, is about 17 miles from where the Obama family is renting a vacation home in the upscale neighborhood of Kailua.
The first family arrived in Hawaii late on Friday and has no official events scheduled during their two-week vacation. Obama ventured out on Saturday for a round of golf with Titcomb, Kass and Marvin Nicholson, one of the president’s schedulers.
Robinson, 51, is in his sixth season as head coach of Oregon State and before that coached for two seasons at the Ivy League Brown University. He played college basketball with Princeton University from 1979 to 1983.
At half time Akron led the Beavers by 35-34.
Reporting by Ros Krasny; Editing by David Brunnstrom