Obama honors UConn women for 2015 NCAA basketball title

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Obama Welcomes UConn Women's Basketball Team


WASHINGTON (AP) -- The University of Connecticut women's basketball team is "certified to provide White House tours" after its frequent victories and visits to the executive mansion, President Barack Obama said Tuesday.

"I was telling folks, this is becoming like the annual Christmas tree lighting," Obama said, drawing laughter in the East Room. "We do this every year around this time."

Obama honored the team for its third straight national title and 10th overall. The UConn women won the 2015 NCAA championship in April with a 63-53 victory over Notre Dame.

The president also cited the team's academic achievements and work in the Hartford community, an effort that includes hosting Thanksgiving and winter food drives, a Christmas party for terminally ill children, basketball clinics and bike drives.

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Obama honors UConn women for 2015 NCAA basketball title
US President Barack Obama poses with 2015 NCAA Womens Basketball Champions, the University of Connecticut Huskies during an event in their honor in the East Room of the White House on September 15, 2015 in Washington, DC. AFP PHOTO/MANDEL NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
President Barack Obama tosses up a basketball that was presented to him as a gift by UConn Huskies head basketball coach Geno Auriemma, left, during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House in Washington,Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2015, where the president honored the NCAA Champion UConn Huskies Women's Basketball team. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
President Barack Obama talks with former Connecticut Sen. Chris Dodd, currently chairman and CEO of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2015, following a ceremony honoring the 2015 NCAA Women’s Basketball Champion University of Connecticut Huskies. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
President Barack Obama, accompanied by UConn Huskies head Women's basketball coach Geno Auriemma, arrives to the East Room of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2015, for a ceremony where the president honored the 2015 NCAA Women’s Basketball Champion University of Connecticut Huskies. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
President Barack Obama reacts as UConn Huskies head Women's basketball coach Geno Auriemma, right, speaks in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2015, during a ceremony honoring the 2015 NCAA Women’s Basketball Champion University of Connecticut Huskies. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
President Barack Obama speaks in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2015, during a ceremony honoring the 2015 NCAA Women’s Basketball Champion University of Connecticut Huskies. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
President Barack Obama shakes hands with UConn Huskies head Women's basketball coach Geno Auriemma, right, in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2015, during a ceremony honoring the 2015 NCAA Women’s Basketball Champion University of Connecticut Huskies. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
President Barack Obama waves to visitors as he leaves the East Room of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2015, following a ceremony honoring the 2015 NCAA Women’s Basketball Champion University of Connecticut Huskies. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
President Barack Obama speaks in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2015, during a ceremony to honor the 2015 NCAA Women's Basketball Champion University of Connecticut Huskies. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
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The team serves as an example to young women, Obama said, including his two daughters, Sasha, 14, and Malia, 17.

"When I've got two daughters who are tall and gorgeous and athletic, for them to know that they've got a whole bunch of people ahead of them who are doing great stuff, it empowers them and it makes me feel very proud to be with these outstanding young women," he said.

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