Hoops With Obama

Can you tell anything about a presidential candidate by playing basketball with him? I guess this is Matt Yglesias' bailiwick, but this Sports Illustrated piece is fun:

Obama was confident but not cocky, unselfish but unafraid to shoot. On court he showed the same balance that has fueled his political rise; he could talk trash without seeming mean, compete feverishly without seeming angry. Yet few knew how central the sport -- "my first love," he calls it -- was to his self-image as a mixed-race child: How the greatest gift from his absent dad was a basketball, how playing gave him his closest white friends and a place where black skin wasn't a disadvantage. When a coach, a close friend, casually threw out the word n-----, Obama says, "It reminded me that race is complicated, that people are complicated, that you could have ugly strains even among people who were otherwise decent.... It does not necessarily mean they're bad people."

Here's some classic highschool footage of Obama on the court: