Student Well-Being

Arne Duncan Takes on Justin Bieber During NBA All-Star Weekend

By Bryan Toporek — February 21, 2011 1 min read

Arne Duncan broke out the old basketball shoes on Friday night and took part in the NBA All-Star Celebrity Game, across the court from none other than teen pop sensation Justin Bieber. (Here’s Duncan with teammates Jason Sudeikis, Tamika Catchings, and rapper Common.)

As it turns out, before Duncan took his talents to the Department of Education, he played professional basketball in Australia for four years, from 1987 to 1991. (Photographic evidence here.)

By now, of course, most people know his boss, Barack Obama, hasn’t exactly been shy about his enthusiasm for the game of basketball during his presidency. Last summer, he invited some of the NBA’s brightest stars to Washington for a private game for the troops.

But Duncan was the one putting his basketball skills on display Friday night. At the All-Star event, Bieber ended up taking home the game’s MVP award, but Duncan didn’t leave without a highlight of his own. Jump to the :35 second mark to see Duncan setting up Catchings with a silky smooth behind-the-back assist for an easy layup:

And before he stepped onto the court at All-Star Weekend, Duncan first stopped by a Los Angeles high school on Friday to encourage the mostly Latino student base to consider teaching as a future profession, according to the Los Angeles Daily News.

There’s been no word yet from the White House about whether Duncan will be challenging Blake Griffin to a slam dunk competition, however.

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A version of this news article first appeared in the Schooled in Sports blog.