In his memoir, Obama shares the story of how he and his aide, Reggie Love, in 2010 began coaching basketball practices for his daughter Sasha’s team, called the Vipers, at Sidwell Friends School in Washington, DC.
Despite a successful run coaching Sasha’s team, Obama reveals in his book that he gave up the coaching role after parents of children on rival teams began complaining that their kids were not being trained by the 44th president.
“After observing an adorable, but chaotic, first couple of games, Reggie and I took it upon ourselves to draw up some plays and volunteered to conduct a few informal Sunday afternoon practice sessions with the team. We worked on the basics: dribbling, passing, making sure your shoelaces were tied before you ran onto the court,” Obama recounts in an excerpt obtained by the Sunday Times.
“And although Reggie could get a little too intense when we ran drills — ‘Paige, don’t let Isabel punk you like that’ — the girls seemed to have as much fun as we did,” he adds, also revealing that when the team beat their rival in the school league championship, he and Love “celebrated like it was the NCAA [National Collegiate Athletic Association] finals.”
Obama also notes that after a year of coaching, fellow parents from a rival Sidwell team started complaining about him being a Vipers coach.
“But of course nothing about our lives was completely normal anymore as I was reminded the following year, when, in true Washington fashion a few of the parents from a rival Sidwell team started complaining to the Vipers coaches and presumably the school that Reggie and I weren’t offering training sessions to their kids, too,” Obama recounts.
Obama also describes in his book that he explained to the school that there wasn’t anything special about their practices and that he and Love even offered to help other parents organize their practices. Obama also recalls Love joking that the other parents “must think being coached by you [Obama] is something they can put on a Harvard application.”
Eventually, Obama notes he gave up coaching because it was “simpler for all concerned.”
Sasha is currently a sophomore at the University of Michigan, while her older sister Malia is currently a senior at Harvard University.
Obama’s 768-page memoir describes the president’s political life, his presidential campaign and even the death of Osama bin Laden in 2011. The book has been released in 25 languages, including Chinese, Arabic, Czech and Vietnamese, the New York Times reported.
In 2018, former first lady Michelle Obama published her own memoir, titled “Becoming.” The book has been widely successful, selling more than 8.1 million copies in the US and Canada since its release, the Times noted.