Ian Mahoney, a Chicago high school basketball coach and a close friend to President Obama, led a 50-over Clearwater, Fla., team to the next round with a 23-point win against a Chile team in the first game at the FIMBA Maxibasketball World Championship at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort near Orlando, Fla., on Saturday.
The final score was 81 to 58
Five years ago, Mahoney, who is now 57, was diagnosed with cancer. His doctors didn’t think he’d play basketball again, let alone compete at a professional level. On Saturday, he proved them wrong.
Mahoney plays regular pick-up games with a Who’s Who list of personalities, including President Obama, United States Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, former Bulls players Scottie Pippen and Randy Brown, and former Oregon State coach Craig Robinson (brother of First Lady Michelle Obama).
The event features teams from 36 countries around the world competing in the 11-day tournament in various age groups, including 50-over, 60-over and 70-over. Among the notable names in the event are Toni Kukoc (Chicago Bulls), Billy Thompson (Miami Heat) and Greg Kite (Orlando Magic).
The team’s next games will be on Sunday at noon against a Slovenia team and Monday at 10:30 a.m. against a Uruguay team.
Video and soundbites from the game now available to download for media purposes. Soundbites include interviews with players Ian Mahoney, Carl Jordan and Jim Sweeney, respectively.