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President Barack Obama walks with a U.S. Secret Service agent back to his vehicle after playing a private game of basketball at Fort McNair in Washington, Friday, Nov. 26, 2010. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak) President Barack Obama walks with a U.S. Secret Service agent back to his vehicle after playing a private game of basketball at Fort McNair in Washington, Friday, Nov. 26, 2010. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)  

Throwing ‘Bows: Man who elbowed Obama playing basketball talks

Rey Decerega is a programs director for the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute, basketball trainer, coach, and the guy that inadvertently elbowed the leader of the free world in the face.

Guess which he’s most famous for?

Back in November of 2010, Decerega was invited to play in President Barack Obama’s pickup basketball game for the second time, after helping Obama’s team win a pickup game earlier in the year.

To say the least, the second one didn’t turn out as well for either Decerega or Obama.

Decerega, speaking publicly for the first time since the incident, said Obama was guarding him closely after Decerega picked up his dribble. Decerega then swung his elbows to create a little space. That now infamous swing caught the defending president right on the jaw, ending in a 12-stitch ordeal for Obama.

“I didn’t know what had happened, so I looked at my elbow and there’s blood coming from my elbow,” Decerega told the Boston Globe. “He was just holding his lip on the floor. He didn’t yell.”

Decerega notes that the White House got in touch with him to make sure he was alright after taking a few stitches on his elbow and having to drive himself to a local hospital.

His conscious bothering him, Decerega wrote an apology note to the White House. Several days later, Decerega received a package featuring the presidential seal that contained a framed sequence of three pictures.

“Him guarding me, me swinging through, and then him holding his mouth.”

The gift was inscribed “For Rey, the only guy that ever hit the president and never got arrested. Barack.”

On second thought, maybe the last game he played with the president ended up being better than the first, even if it did get some unwanted publicity and elbow stitches.

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