President Obama Welcomes the 2012 NCAA Champion Kentucky Wildcats at White House

President Barack Obama welcomes the University of Kentucky men’s Wildcats basketball team to the East Room

President Barack Obama welcomes the University of Kentucky men’s Wildcats basketball team to the East Room of the White House to celebrate their 2012 NCAA championship, May 4, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

Today, President Obama welcomed the University of Kentucky Wildcats to the White House to congratulate the team on its 2012 NCAA championship.

Although he didn’t have the Wildcats at the top of his bracket, the President said he “knew Kentucky was good.”

I had them in the championship game.  But in the end, I thought, they got all these freshmen.  These guys are too young. And keep in mind, at this time last year, three of the Wildcats’ five starters were still in high school.  Michael Kidd-Gilchrist couldn’t even vote yet.

But let’s face it, sometimes talent trumps experience.  And sometimes, a bunch of young players, even if they’re used to being big fishes in their ponds, even if they’ve never played together before, they can buy into a system, they understand the concept of team, and they do something special right away.  And that’s exactly what happened in Kentucky.

And playing basketball isn't all the Wildcats are good at, President Obama said, and thanked the team for their community service:

And I want to congratulate them for doing their share of community service in the Lexington community -- from packing backpacks full of food for kids who don’t have enough, to raising money for tornado victims. 

So these guys do it all.  Everybody’s got to take a good look now, because a whole bunch of these guys are going on to the NBA. Who knows, one of them might end up here in Washington. We’ll take him

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