Obama, Michael Jordan team up to raise US$2m
WASHINGTON, USA (AFP) — Barack Obama and legendary NBA star Michael Jordan will team up in New York today for a basketball-themed fund-raiser expected to raise US$2 million for the president's re-election campaign.
Obama campaign spokeswoman Jennifer Psaki said the president will attend three different events in the Big Apple on that day.
"When we get to New York ... there's a dinner that's $20,000 per person -- we've sold about 120 tickets," Psaki told reporters aboard the president's airplane yesterday.
"There are two earlier events, including an autograph signing event. Tickets are $250 per person. And a skills camp, a (basketball) shoot-around," she said.
Psaki, however, refused to say if Obama, an avid basketball fan and player who often plays in pickup games with White House staffers, will shoot hoops with Jordan, widely seen as the greatest basketball player of all time.
In early August, Jordan and other basketball stars signed up for an "Obama Classic" -- a draw for the chance to shoot hoops with basketball greats including Carmelo Anthony, Patrick Ewing and Sheryl Swoopes.
For a US$3 contribution, one lucky contest winner will also get the chance to join Jordan and Obama for dinner.
The president's campaign team has used the raffle technique before to raise funds for dinners with the president and first lady and for the chance to attend a fund-raising event with Hollywood heartthrob George Clooney.
Jordan, now 49, led the National Basketball Association's Chicago Bulls to six championship victories, and was named the league's most valuable player five times.
In February, Obama raised $2.1 million at a $30,000-a-plate dinner at the Orlando, Florida, home of Dallas Mavericks basketball star forward Vince Carter.
Guests at that event included legendary Los Angeles Laker Earvin 'Magic' Johnson and former Miami Heat stars Alonzo Mourning and Steve Smith, as well as NBA commissioner David Stern and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban.