Saturday, July 13, 2024

VP Harris visits Team USA basketball practice at UNLV

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Team USA basketball coach Steve Kerr greeted a Golden State Warriors fan at the door of UNLV’s Mendenhall Center near the end of practice Tuesday and escorted her over to the huddle to address his team.

The fan just also happened to be one of the most powerful women on earth.

“You are ambassadors for who we are as a country. You need to go to Paris and bring back that gold,” Vice President Kamala Harris told the players, according to a pool report. “We are so proud of you.”

Harris was in Las Vegas to speak at an Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander festival and stopped in to visit the Olympians around 1:23 p.m.

Kerr said he has met Harris many times given her allegiance to the Warriors. He was also at the White House two years ago after Golden State won the NBA title. He said Tuesday’s visit was a good experience for his players.

“It’s a great reminder of the fact we’re playing for our country,” Kerr said. “Vice President Harris told the guys how much she admired them, how much they really embody excellence and that we are going over there to try to win a gold medal for our country.”

Kerr believes the message was received.

“A patriotic feeling of being part of something special for our country and I think the guys really listened to every word. It was great,” Kerr said. “She loves our team. She loves basketball. The (Second) Gentleman is a Lakers fan, unfortunately. But we’ll live with that.”

Harris had a quick chat with Warriors star Steph Curry, another familiar face, as she worked her way around the group, shaking hands and exchanging pleasantries.

Miami Heat star Bam Adebayo was thrilled about the visit after practice.

“That was my first time meeting a president or a vice president,” Adebayo said. “Being able to have her here to speak to us was a dope moment that I’ll be able to tell my kids’ kids’ kids about that.”

Phoenix Suns star Kevin Durant is still not able to fully practice with Team USA due to an injury, but he was pleased to see Harris.

“It’s cool knowing we have her support,” Durant said. “She’s been out here working a lot and she’s so busy it’s an honor that she wanted to come out here and check us out. Glad she was able to come through.”

Team USA will play Canada in an exhibition game Wednesday at T-Mobile Arena.

Contact Adam Hill at ahill@reviewjournal.com. Follow @AdamHillLVRJ on X.

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