The rewards of winning the NBA championship seemingly never end. Last year’s champs, the Miami Heat, continued to reap the benefits from their accomplishment on Monday, as they went on the annual champions trip to the White House and got to meet President Barack Obama.
Obama, a noted basketball fan, recognized and honored the team for their performance last season in his speech, but he also thanked them for supporting military service members and for being upstanding role models for children as players and as strong fathers.
“For all the young men out there who are looking up to them over time, for them to see somebody who cares about their kids and is there for them, day in, day out, that’s a good message to send,” Obama said.
The team presented Obama with gifts, including an autographed basketball and his very own Miami Heat jersey with the number 44.
LeBron James summed up the entire team’s excitement at meeting the President in his brief off-the-cuff speech, saying: “We’re in the White House right now, which is like, like ‘Mama I made it!'”
It was a second trip to the White House for a few Heat players, including Shane Battier, who visited when Duke won the NCAA title in 2001 and Dwyane Wade, who was also a member of the 2006 Heat team that won the NBA Finals.