The first U.S. President didn’t even want the job in the first place. George Washington was the original distributor, even if he assumed the presidency 102 years before the game was invented. Since its birth though, not only have the presidents wanted the top job but a few also have wanted the ball. Today, Independence Day, there’s more than enough stuff to get worked up about patriotism over. But what about hoops, the born-in-the-USA game that’s become one of America’s best exports? Here’s a look at the top five presidents who believed in roundball diplomacy and their best basketball moments.
5. GERALD FORD
Ford played football at Michigan, so he was no athletic slouch. Well before he stepped into the Oval Office — and 67 years before Michigan State played North Carolina on the flight deck of an aircraft carrier last November — Ford balled on the deck of the U.S.S. Monterey in 1944. He’s the shirtless guy contesting the shot.