President Barack Obama Once Asked George Clooney to Play Basketball With Him

The Oscar winner reveals personal moments he's had with the American leader

By Samantha Schnurr Apr 20, 2016 8:17 PMTags
Amal Clooney, George ClooneyJawad Elatab /

Most actors will never forget the night they won their first Oscar. For award winner George Clooney, private basketball games with the president are also quite memorable. 

For his ninth cover story for Esquire, the 54-year-old movie star shared his feelings about the love of his life, Amal Clooney, his frustrations regarding the current international refugee crisis and, perhaps most curiously, his relationship with President Barack Obama—particularly when it comes to their shared penchant for basketball. 

"We played here in L.A. I did a fundraiser here with him, and he said, 'What are you doing tomorrow morning?'" he described to the magazine. "I go, 'What time?' He goes, '5:30. You wanna play some hoops?' And I go, 'Yeah.' And he goes, 'All right, we'll set it up. You got any of your friends want to play?'"

Since an invitation like that is a rarity in life—even if you are a silver screen legend like Clooney—it was an opportunity he nor his friends could pass up. 

Jawad Elatab /

"I started writing my friends, going, 'You wanna play basketball with the president of the United States?'" he continued. "Now I have this picture of my buddy elbowing the President. It was really fun. He's a good basketball player."

Clooney's compliments toward the president did not stop at his basketball skills. 

"[He's] deeply funny. He gets the joke," he added. "He's called me a couple of times after I've gotten in an argument with somebody about him. And he's like, 'What are you doing fighting with that guy? That kind of stuff has been very funny."

Tom Williams/Roll Call/Getty Images

As for President Obama's potential replacement, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, the actor has event more compliments to pay. 

"When I walked out of that room [after a meeting], I was very, very, very glad that she was secretary of state and that she was an informed, responsible, smart person," he admitted.

"I don't think she's nearly as good a campaigner as she would be a leader."