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Will former President Obama attend the Duke-UNC game? Here’s the latest buzz.

Duke star RJ Barrett’s reaction to Obama possibly coming to Duke-UNC game

Just the possibility that former President Barack Obama could attend the Duke-UNC basketball at Cameron Indoor Stadium on Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2019, excited Duke freshman star RJ Barrett.
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Just the possibility that former President Barack Obama could attend the Duke-UNC basketball at Cameron Indoor Stadium on Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2019, excited Duke freshman star RJ Barrett.

The Duke-UNC basketball game, always known for attracting celebrities, could be played with former President Barack Obama in attendance at Cameron Indoor Stadium on Wednesday night.

Duke officials wouldn’t confirm or deny that Obama will be at the game, which tips at 9 pm.

When asked about preparations for Obama’s possible arrival on campus, university spokesman Mike Schoenfeld declined comment.

But unusual security measures are in place around Cameron in preparation for the game.

Media members entering Cameron Indoor for a press conference involving Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski and two players were asked to pre-register for the event and have identification checked by security personnel.

ABC11 cited a source close to the Duke basketball team in a report Tuesday that Obama was expected to attend. Former Duke basketball player Jay Williams, now part of ESPN’s GameDay broadcast team, said on ESPN Monday he had heard Obama would be attending.

“I never know who is coming,” Krzyzewski said Tuesday. “I try not to let that be what I’m thinking of. Look anybody can show up here because it is a bucket list thing. It’s a bucket list just to come to a game in Cameron. But Duke and Carolina at Cameron is one of those great sporting events. So we can expect anything here.

The former president was in Oakland for an Obama Foundation event and a town hall meeting on Tuesday. The My Brother’s Keeper event continues on Wednesday but an Obama Foundation spokeswoman said via email Tuesday that Obama isn’t scheduled to attend Wednesday’s events in California.

UNC basketball coach Roy Williams reacts to a rumor that former President Obama might attend the Duke-Carolina game, but says his attention will be on what's going on on the court.

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An Illinois native, Steve Wiseman has covered Duke athletics since 2010 for the Durham Herald-Sun and Raleigh News & Observer. Prior to his arrival in Durham, he worked for newspapers in Columbia and Spartanburg, S.C., Biloxi, Miss., and Charlotte covering beats including the NFL’s Carolina Panthers and New Orleans Saints, University of South Carolina athletics and the S.C. General Assembly.


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