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Obama Family, Actor Bill Murray Watch TU Fall to Oregon State

You'd think the L.A. Lakers had transported its court to Towson University judging by the celebrities in attendance.

(Updated: 6:06 p.m.) For some fans at the Towson Center Arena on Saturday, the fact that there was a basketball game going on may not have been the first thing on their minds.

What the fans got in men's basketball home opener against Oregon State included many big names, including President Barack Obama and family, actor Bill Murray, Congressman Dutch Ruppersberger, former Congressman Tom McMillen and San Antonio Spurs star (and former Tiger) Gary Neal.

The dignitaries were among a crowd of 3,119 who watched the Tigers (0-5) fall to the Oregon State Beavers (5-1), 66-46.

The Obamas were on hand to cheer on the Beavers and coach Craig Robinson, First Lady Michelle Obama's brother. The president and first lady sat courtside, while daughters Sasha and Malia sat nearby.

Murray was there to watch the home debut of his son, Luke, a Towson assistant coach. He occasionally posed for photos with fans in the stands.

At one point, Murray walked over to meet the president (The Baltimore Sun has video). Obama also posed for a photo with the Towson University football team following a halftime presentation of their

Security was tight at the Towson Center as fans were required to pass through metal detectors and Secret Service agents could be seen posted throughout the arena.

The game against Oregon State came about as a result of good planning and a little luck. Oregon State was looking for a game after completing its run through the TicketCity Legends Championship, and Towson was looking for a big home opener.

"We wanted to have something special for our fans because it's been a tough 15-year run here," said Towson athletic director Mike Waddell, referring to Towson's track record on the court.

Waddell added that Towson is signed for two games at Oregon State in upcoming seasons.

The Obamas have attended nearby Oregon State games before, at George Washington in 2009 and Howard in 2010. Waddell said he was eager to schedule the game with those famous fans in mind, but it wasn't until last Friday that Waddell's office got word from the White House that Obama would indeed be attending the game, the closest Oregon State will get to Washington, DC this season.

What followed were meetings, phone calls, emails, Secret Service visits and even a Friday test run by Marine One. The president's helicopter landed on a lacrosse and soccer practice field near Towson Center.

Robinson and his players are used to the attention. Some of them have played in front of the president three times. And despite the pressure, it was just another game for Towson and its first against a Pac-12 conference foe.

It was "a great atmosphere for a college basketball game," said first-year Coach Pat Skerry. "Hopefully that's something that can become the norm here at Towson University."

"It was really exciting as far as the president coming, but basketball is always exciting to me," said sophomore forward Marcus Damas, who had a career-high 18 points and 10 rebounds. "Coach did a good job of preparing us for the game."

Towson's preparation showed early in the game, as they led or tied with the Beavers until the second half of the first period. The Beavers' Challe Barton dropped a three with 6:56 left in the first to bring the score to 20-18, and Oregon State never looked back, at one point leading by 24 points.

The Tigers out-rebounded Oregon State, 38-23, but committed 21 turnovers to Oregon State's 10. Four Beavers players scored in the double digits.

"Until we rectify as a staff and what the players do taking care of the basketball, we're going to have some long nights," Skerry said.

If you have photos of the president and his family or Murray, add them to this story. 

 

ORIGINAL POST: Nov. 25, 7:55 p.m.

President Barack Obama and his family will attend a Saturday basketball game at, the school announced Friday.

The Obamas will be at the Towson Center Arena to watch the Towson Tigers men's basketball team  coached by First Lady Michelle Obama's brother, Craig Robinson.

The university encourages fans to arrive early for the game, due to the anticipated crowds and security measures. The gates to the Towson Center Arena will open at noon, and fans must be in their seats by 1:45 p.m. for the 2 p.m. tipoff.

Obama will be the first president to visit Towson University, according to Waddell.

The Obamas have traveled to see Oregon State's games in the Washington, DC, area, most recently to George Washington in 2009 and Howard in 2010.

Towson is the Beavers' final East Coast stop this season, and the closest they'll get to DC. Oregon State (4-1) is coming off a trip to East Rutherford, NJ, for the TicketCity Legends Classic Championship, where it beat Texas 100-95 in overtime, then lost to Vanderbilt, 64-62.

Robinson was hired as head coach in 2008.

First-year coach Pat Skerry's young Towson (0-4) team—which returned no starters from last year's lineup—comes home after a tough stretch that included nationally-ranked Kansas, Michigan and Belmont in the mainland round of the EA Sports Maui Invitational.

The game will be broadcast on WBAL-AM and ESPN3.com.

Buck Harmon December 02, 2011 at 08:15 PM
Well said !, Thank You..
Sean Tully December 03, 2011 at 12:09 AM
Lorna, I am not sure how much welfare hinders families from striving for independent life styles whenever possible. I'd have to really think about that one. But, I have to ask again, how would Newt pay for his child-labor program? You never did answer that one.
Sean Tully December 03, 2011 at 03:12 AM
Of course I am trolling. Anything beyond the Obama and Murray visit to Towson is off topic, so... Why are the GOP all the sudden okay with tax increases?
Sean Tully December 04, 2011 at 05:32 PM
Lorna D. Rudnikas 12:49 pm on Friday, December 2, 2011 I totally agree....class warfare is my concern and the element of destruction it brings to our country as free Americans. I am certainly not going to attack any folks because they are the so-called rich nor am I going to poor mouth the rest of us. then... Lorna D. Rudnikas 10:35 pm on Thursday, December 1, 2011 Ahhhh now you have hit on something not often addressed and that is ....does incessant welfare help or hinder folks and their children to strive for independent life styles whenever possible. Lorna, I was thinking of you this morning while reading the Sun's editorial on the new "welfare Queen" attacks by the GOP. They raised a good point that perhaps you'd like to answer. Why is it "class warfare" when people say the rich should pay more in taxes but it is not when people attack those on food stamps?
Lorna D. Rudnikas December 04, 2011 at 11:02 PM
Hi Sean.... Perhaps yours should be first in line on the Sun article. I have been very straightforward about where my thoughts are when it comes to so-called "classes" of population. I am a tried and true member of the "worker bee" group and have no issues with any true "bees" no matter the level of their economic status. In America, for whose who like to banter the term "class" around it touches too much on my memory of first reading about the French Revolution...Yikes!!! But, as long as we continue on the subject...I found an interesting description regarding class and how the term is used in American society....shall I share it with you for what ever benefit you might be able to garner from it?: Some think that the "upper classes" include CEOs, politicians, and people who work in highly specialized careers like doctors." As you can only imagine, I am gingerly drawn to and absolutely love that "politicians" are nestled in the description, honey child? My current "class warfare" concern is with the political folks (professional and otherwise) who diligently focus on separating people into "classes" for the specific purpose of prompting a Machiavellian agenda...one specifically meant to thwart a positive outcome for our wonderful citizens. Divide and conquer as in "class warfare" is despicable and deserves to be thoroughly routed.
Lorna D. Rudnikas December 04, 2011 at 11:27 PM
Back again...Sorry Sean, as you can see, I am hopelessly hardcore!!! :)
Robert Armstrong December 05, 2011 at 07:08 AM
Lorna, You aren't fooling anybody.
CAW21227 December 05, 2011 at 10:57 AM
Wars are started because someone has something the other wants or needs (land, oil, power, money, natural resources etc.) not to say that is the only reason for war. It is called "class warfare" because the rich have the money and power that the poor and middle class want. The poor have nothing that anyone else wants or needs therefore no "warfare"
Sean Tully December 05, 2011 at 12:31 PM
The poor may not have anything anyone else wants, but every four years the GOP pull out some form of the Reagan "welfare Queen" scenario. This year it's Newt's "urban criminal poor". Notice how they never go after all welfare recipients, as many of them are white. We don't have to fear the poor in places like West Virginia, only those in places like West Baltimore.
Scott Sewell December 05, 2011 at 12:38 PM
Lorna, you make the most sense of all of these responses. Keep it up girl!
Buck Harmon December 05, 2011 at 01:46 PM
Classes of the population are man made...devisive, greed~power driven illusions of perceived ACCOMPLISHMENT....but only in the monetary sense.Hearts, souls and REAL are the things that make people...
Buck Harmon December 05, 2011 at 01:48 PM
was that off topic...?
Bart December 05, 2011 at 02:13 PM
No. Not off topic.
Bart December 05, 2011 at 02:19 PM
Class is totally a perception, totally objective. The right wing wants to protect the rights of a fetus, but once it becomes a child, it is now a burden on society, and the mother is a welfare queen. Our beloved troops, the ones for whom we put out yellow ribbons and sing great songs become homeless bums and mentally-ill who only need to be kicked to the curb and left to rot.
Tim December 05, 2011 at 02:46 PM
The right wing is mired in hypocrisy.
Sean Tully December 05, 2011 at 03:13 PM
The right wing mostly lives in a fantasy world of black and white and they'd like to keep the two as far apart as possible.
Lorna D. Rudnikas December 05, 2011 at 03:36 PM
Nor do I try, Robert!
Lorna D. Rudnikas December 05, 2011 at 03:39 PM
How very unperceptive of both you, Tim and you Sean. However, I must congratulate you both with expressing your opinions in a manner that would lead us to believe they might even fact. Good try guys!!!
Lorna D. Rudnikas December 05, 2011 at 03:39 PM
Thanks Scott. Kind of you to say so.
Lorna D. Rudnikas December 05, 2011 at 03:47 PM
In addition Sean....how interesting for you to dig at the bottom of the barrel, when all else fails, and try to conjure up the "race" card, you little darling, you!!! :)
Sean Tully December 05, 2011 at 04:41 PM
Lorna, the GOP attack on welfare receipiants is based on nothing else but race. That is why they focus on "Welfare Queens" and not folks in Vermont or West Virginia.
Lorna D. Rudnikas December 05, 2011 at 07:45 PM
That is your opinion...which, on the face of just doesn't make it so, honey child. Can't we just do a clean study on the welfare opportunities in t his country and look across the board to see how, what, where and when and if, in fact, there is too much fraud...and of course, can we just leave the race card out of it. As they use to say in the old detective show on TV, give us the facts and nothing but the facts, so help you God, should be on the table. And then, what???? if I recall correctly, Russia had the equivalent of a welfare state and it ate them up alive. So, lets push for ways to assist people to stand on their own, whenever possible...rather than make it impossible for them to get out from under the "welfare state." Please note the key words WHENEVER POSSIBLE!!
Diane December 06, 2011 at 12:01 AM
Lorna, You are a good soul. The faces of humanity. The faces of the homeless have changed. Both rich and poor are losing their homes and jobs. Families are stressed and torn apart by this depression. Solutions instead of the blame game. And yes, our soldiers are among the many in need. If the government cant help. How about fund raisers. We can not count on politicians and government to fix everything. Volunteers and non profits, activist, etc. are solutions.. Lets face it, the faces have changed.
Buck Harmon December 06, 2011 at 01:57 AM
I can't believe that homelessness has ever been a part of anyone's plan. I do believe that the homeless explore the full depths of their soul though... something that can not possibly be accomplished by the perceived, or self proclaimed rich....
Other Tim December 06, 2011 at 02:13 AM
How in the world does a simple article about the President attending a basketball game turn into an lambasting of the welfare state America is becoming?
Lorna D. Rudnikas December 06, 2011 at 05:21 AM
Excellent question...grasping at straws I suppose out of frustration ...basketball, smashketball..so trivial in the scheme of things we face at this moment in time.
Carole December 12, 2011 at 12:43 PM
Know what I hate? Idiots on twitter who send out fake Bill Murray sightings,meetings, etc. Bill Murray is not, and never has been at ATP.
Carole December 12, 2011 at 12:45 PM
Know what else I hate? People who disrespect others by lying to them -- like the Talks, who in August posted a fake (old) interview of Bill Murray, and tried to recycle it. What can't people stop using other people just to get attention? It makes me sick.
Knows.it.all December 12, 2011 at 01:09 PM
Here's the truth about Bill Murray. He almost died after almost drinking himself to death over New Years 2010. He is such a bad alcoholic, that he lost control of severe diabetes and went into diabetic shock. There for a while, they couldn't get his diabetes under control. That's why he wears an insulin pump. He should never be by himself. He's gone into diabetic shock on several occasions....yet refuses to say anything to other people who think he's really cool, and follow his life's pattern believing it'll bring them loads of fun. How's about a future with loads of insulin shots? Bill Murray, please save some lives and stand up!
Knows.it.all December 12, 2011 at 01:14 PM
His choice of friends is rather scary, too. Then again, birds of a feather flock together. They helped Bill lie about what happened to him over New Years, have helped him cover it up, and are helping him continue living this destructive life pattern that will kill him. With friends like that, who needs an enemy? To me, these people sound more like the fabled Siren, than any friend who wants what is best for you. Truth is, psychologically, people gather wagons around causes they love because of what they love for themselves, not because of who or what they love for anybody else's benefit. It's because of people like this, that it doesn't bother me that there really is a such thing as hell.

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