Bill Clinton talks college hoops with Dan Hurley, John Calipari, Rick Pitino, Tobin Anderson | Zagsblog
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Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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Wednesday / April 24.
  • Bill Clinton talks college hoops with Dan Hurley, John Calipari, Rick Pitino, Tobin Anderson

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    By ADAM ZAGORIA

    NEW YORK — When Iona coach Tobin Anderson met former President Bill Clinton on Tuesday at the BTIG Charity Day in Manhattan, Clinton immediately let on that he was a big college basketball fan.

    “Yeah, Bill Clinton said he watched the whole Purdue game [against Fairleigh Dickinson in the NCAA Tournament] and said he loved watching us play,” Anderson, who led FDU to just the second-ever upset of a No. 1 seed before taking over at Iona after the season, said at the event. “That made my day.”

    “He said it was his favorite NCAA tourney of all time,” Anderson added.

    Clinton also talked about the NCAA Tournament with UConn coach Dan Hurley, who led the Huskies to their fifth national championship — and his first — starting with a first-round win over Rick Pitino and Iona.

    “I did talk ball with Clinton,” Hurley said. “He watched us the whole tournament and especially the Arkansas game. He asked about my dad [Hall of Fame coach Bob Hurley Sr.]. Big hoops fan.”

    Clinton, 76, was the biggest star at the annual event which also featured Lawrence Taylor, Eli Manning, Michael Strahan, Aaron Boone, Mariano Rivera, CC Sabathia, Mark Messier, Henrik Lundqvist, John Calipari, Hank Azaria, Patrick Dempsey, Hannah Storm, Robin Roberts and Chuck Scarborough.

    Clinton seemed especially interested in chatting up the college hoops coaches, including Pitino and Calipari, with whom he had lunch.

    “I spent a lot of time with [President Clinton] at the White House,” said Pitino, the new St. John’s coach who has been busy rebuilding his roster. “We were just talking [Tuesday], he said some really nice things.”

    Calipari had a busy week in New York between the BTIG event and watching his former Kentucky guys Julius Randle, Immanuel Quickley and Bam Adebayo in the Knicks-Heat series.

    He also had lunch with Clinton and talked hoops.

    “Had a great morning fundraising for charity with BTIG and then had lunch with my friend President Clinton,” Calipari Tweeted. “John Wall called during lunch and he and the President had a nice conversation.”

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    Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle. A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.

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