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Presidential Candidates Benefited From High School Sports

In the halls of high schools across the country, two wonderful sports share the winter season: basketball and wrestling. Both require a unique set of skills. While they are very different from one another, both are a test of character and athletic skill. Mastery of both sports requires patience, hard work and more than a little talent.

Be careful how you answer the question – are you a wrestler or a basketball player? The answer to that simple question may say more about you than you realize. Basketball is a uniquely American sport, a relative newcomer in the world of athletic competition. Despite its short history, basketball has swept the earth. It requires teamwork, precision, endurance and anticipation.

Wrestling has been contested for a much longer period of time, a sport identified by the Greeks and Romans as a test of character and athletic skill. It requires strength, tenacity, leverage and endurance.

The national debate that will culminate in the November 4 presidential election is between a former high school wrestler (John McCain) and a former high school basketball player (Barack Obama).

While both men have achieved great accomplishments since their days in high school, both trace the core principles that drive their lives to the lessons learned in the classrooms and playing fields of their youth.



High School Today is an official publication of the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS), the national leadership organization for high school athletic and fine arts activities located in Indianapolis, Indiana. High School Today is published eight times a year and is mailed free of charge to superintendents, principals, athletic directors and school board presidents at every high school in the United States with a total mailing list in excess of 72,000.

Bruce Howard, Director of Publications and Communications, National Federation of State High School Associations,
PO Box 690, Indianapolis, IN 46206; 317-822-5724; (fax) 317-822-5700; (e-mail)