By Matt Nelson
President Barack Obama received a monogrammed jacket and basketball Wednesday from the University of Connecticut women’s basketball team — the Huskies — but during part of the event, he was sporting unusual headwear: bunny ears.
After the ceremony celebrating the team’s NCAA championship, the president and the team members posed for pictures in the White House East Room. During some of the shots, two team members raised their hands and playfully made a gesture usually reserved as a prank for family vacation photos.
The two UConn players — Stefanie Dolson and Kiah Stokes — made the rabbit ears only after Obama allowed them to do so, Patrick McKenna, assistant director of athletic communications at UConn, said Thursday.
“The president was holding up that jacket and kind of quipped, ‘All right, no bunny ears,’ and everybody laughed,” McKenna said. “And then a couple pictures were taken for a few moments, and he said, ‘All right, go ahead!”
Dolson and Stokes — whom McKenna describes as fun loving — couldn’t resist the opportunity. Dolson later tweeted about the moment, and it was captured on video by the White House (the photos start 8 minutes and 15 seconds into the almost 9 minute video).
“There was absolutely no disrespect meant,” McKenna said. “It was all in good fun.”