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Hoop dreams: Ensign challenges Obama

From NBC's Mike Viqueira

Among the great questions of our time are what type of dog will the Obamas get come spring, and, where and with whom will the new president indulge his passion for hoops.

Nothing here on the first issue, but perhaps we can, ahem, move the ball on the second.

Seems that at the Statuary Hall luncheon on Inauguration Day, Sen. John Ensign challenged the new president to a game of two-on-two. Ensign, a roundball enthusiast, proposed that he and Sen. John Thune, a high school star back home in South Dakota, play Obama and the wingman of his choice.

It has been widely reported that the president has some people, both in his cabinet and in the West Wing, who have got serious game.

A Senate source says that the president was receptive, and that the venue of Camp David was specifically mentioned.

Incidentally, there a couple of games that take place on a semi-regular basis around here. There is a court over in Rayburn in the House gym, to date noted mostly as the place where Gary Condit hid from the press. Nevertheless, it is considered a sacred treasure by some members, and they would really rather not talk about it.

There is also a game at a local Capitol Hill high school from time to time where staffers and an occasional member are known to play.