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Sweet: Obama warms up for caucus day playing pick-up basketball game.

(courtesy Google maps)

DES MOINES, IA.–Barack Obama’s wife Michelle wished her husband “Happy Caucus Day” on Thursday morning, where Obama warmed up for the first-in-the-nation presidential vote by playing basketball with some buddies and hitting morning television shows.

The pick-up game, running more than an hour, was organized by Illinois State Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias, a liong-time Obama friend and a supporter and fund-raising going back to Obama’s senate run. The level of play was “very competitive,” I’m told. Obama: “He played hard. He played smart.” If Obama wins the caucus tonight. This basketball playing stuff will become a metaphor for his campaign here.

The players included Giannoulias, Obama bodyman Reggie Love, a college ball player and ex-pro football player. (What, you ask is a bodyman?) The trusted aide who physically stands next to the candidate (not security) to handle any stuff that comes up from someone they meet along the way.)

There were about 10 players, including some of Obama’s high school friends from Hawaii, where he played ball as a teen. (see memoir for impact on his life of being on the team)