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Time for Hoops: Obama Arrives in Coronado for Carrier Classic

After spending the morning in Washington, D.C., President Obama flew to North Island in time for tip-off.

President Obama spent the morning of Veterans Day 2011 having breakfast with a group of veterans in the White House and speaking at a ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery. In the afternoon he arrived at aboard Air Force One to attend the Carrier Classic.

Obama was in San Diego in September, but on a much lower-profile trip. He flew in to Miramar for a , but since that didn’t involve the spectacle of a nationally televised basketball game held on the deck of an aircraft carrier it didn’t get as much attention. No word yet on which team the president is rooting for.

Activity buzzed onboard the Vinson even before Obama’s arrival. As game time neared, fans stopped Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus, who greeted sailors and veterans alike.

Basketball great Jerry West passed by a few minutes later.

Alums spotted by North Carolina and Michigan State fans include Tar Heel Tyler Hansbrough and Spartan Gregory Kelser, who played with Magic Johnson on Michigan State’s championship team 32 years ago.

Political bigwigs included San Diego County Supervisor Ron Roberts and Rep. Bob Filner, D-San Diego, who wore a shirt with “Bob Filner for Mayor” stitched on it.

Military personnel were strewn throughout the crowd, and not just sailors, but a few wounded warriors who snagged prime spots courtside. One of them, Timothy Bleigh, sensed an upset was at hand. Most others believed top-ranked North Carolina would prevail.

The veteran of action in Afghanistan heard about the game while receiving treatment at Naval Medical Center San Diego. He sat in a wheelchair Friday; despite having made great progress during six months of therapy, he feared the Vinson’s steep stairs would be too much to tackle.

But he also was touched by the effort everyone had made to make the game happen.

“You can tell they put a lot of manpower into putting something like this together,” said the San Jose native.

Jim DeLozier, a Ramona resident who has spent 26 of his 28 years in the Navy in San Diego, brought his son Jacob and a friend to the game. He works on base in Coronado as part of the Naval Air Force Pacific command.

The North Carolina fan – though he's from Missouri originally, he embraced the university when Michael Jordan played there – raved about the setup before him.

 “I tell you it’s like a basketball stadium without the roof. Unless you look over the deck or at the superstructure, you’d think you’re sitting in a college coliseum.”

Tony Lawrence November 17, 2011 at 12:38 AM
Wow Mike you got me - sometimes I type really fast between all my obligations and do not hit spell check. That means I am retarded. The last bastion of a desperate man is to correct spelling? Well if that is all you have ... go with your strength. No, I did not wear the uniform. My father, 5 uncles and brother did. You don't know me, my circumstances or life - don't pretend to, although by your reply being pompous and looking down your nose at folks comes pretty easy to you. I am 100% behind the troops, and supported them rain or shine, regardless of administration. I will have a "no-computer" spelling bee with you anywhere anytime. Math also - anytime you want to match wits - sans computer and blogs - name the place time and stakes. Manipulating spell check better than someone else, and having savvy error catching programs does not make you better or smarter, but it does explain why you did not date much.
Tony Lawrence November 17, 2011 at 12:39 AM
Oh, I have my keyboard license through 2014, then I have to re-up. Until then I will muddle through. Did you really chime in JUST to comment on someone's spelling? Wow, pathetic.
Mike G November 17, 2011 at 03:51 AM
Tony, you should have stopped at "Wow Mike you got me" and "No I didn't wear the uniform". I care not one iota what your kin did or did not do. The fact remains you did NOTHING and most likely never will. But you go right ahead on and rest on their laurels and service. I don't have to rely on spell check to pick apart your erroneous post, You "type really fast" my ass. You're basically illiterate. "Look down your nose... pompous.."? Are you freaking kidding me? Exactly to what are your numerous obligations? ESL classes? Community organization? Green Peace? PETA? I'm sure you are "100% behind the troops, and supported them rain or shine" because you're obviously not man enough to be out front leading them as I did for 24 years. This may come as a shock to you, but I must have some kind of math skills to have worked on aviation electronics for the aforementioned 24 years! You are correct in one sense, I don't know you, nor do I wish to. I consort with a class of people that understand a greater good other than one's self and aren't totally full of (you fill in the blank)!
Tony Lawrence November 17, 2011 at 06:16 AM
Mike, you served - thank you. Sincerely, I would never denigrate anyone's service. I sincerely appreciate you putting your life on the line for our Nation. I have the utmost respect for those who protect our freedoms. That being said, you are still a tool. I will not list my resume, but suffice it to say I am dedicated to my wife and kids and make sure we have what we need, and coach little league, pop warner, hold youth fitness and drug awareness camps and seminars, help out in the schools, etc. If you place small value on those, that is your right to do so. As a vet, you should appreciate the recent increase in benefits. You should appreciate the fact that someone had a wonderful diversion that the majority of the troops really enjoyed. They seemed happy, not faking it, they seemed really happy. A few of my friends are stationed there and they said it pretty impressive. You not only respect only vet's speak, but only vet's who agree with you. Your disdain for the OWS movement discounts the thousands of vets who are a part of it. Illiterate? c'mon. I do type really fast. I do have alot of obligations. No, not military. Pompous? I stand by that, you make snap judgments on people you know nothing about and bludgeon them on the back of your service (again, thank you, I mean that) As the son of a minister, contributing to the greater good has been a part of my life since birth, I am sorry you have to define and look down your nose at anyone who is different than you.
Things I Learned November 17, 2011 at 07:35 AM
Bill Clinton was not a draft dodger.

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