Presidents who ruled the field
President Barack Obama's love of basketball is well-documented, from his stint on the Punahou School team to the frequent pickup games he plays on the White House's court.
Depending on which celebrity or professional athlete is asked, reports of his hoops skills vary. What is certain, however, is he is far from the most accomplished "Athlete in Chief." Here are a few of the more successful sportsmen to hold the Oval Office.Gerald Ford (38th president, 1974-1977)Although not an All-American, Ford found success on the football field while at the University of Michigan. Known for his skills as a center, he was named the Wolverines’ team MVP as a senior in 1934 and chosen to play in the East-West College All-Star game after the season. The Green Bay Packers and Detroit Lions’ loss was the nation’s gain when Ford chose law school at Yale over professional football.George H. W. Bush (41st president, 1989-1993)Decades before son George W. owned the Texas Rangers, the elder Bush was the first baseman on the Yale baseball team. As a member of the Bulldogs, the left-handed hitter played in the first two College World Series as Yale lost both times (8-7 to California in ’47 and 9-2 to USC in ’48). He once hit for the cycle against North Carolina, according to “Baseball: The Presidents’ Game” co-author Paul Dickson.Ronald Reagan (40th president, 1981-1989)Reagan was always a jack of all trades. While attending Eureka College in Illinois, he was a three-sport athlete in swimming (as team captain), football and track. His gridiron experience couldn’t have hurt when Reagan, who went on to a successful career as an actor prior to politics, portrayed George Gipp (“Win one for The Gipper”) in the film “Knute Rockne, All American.”