Perk of the job: Arne Duncan in NBA All-Star game

( Duncan in 2012 All-Star Game (

What a perk. Education Secretary Arne Duncan, who frequently plays basketball with President Obama, is participating in the NBA All-Star Celebrity Game in Houston tonight alongside professional athletes, actors, musicians and others.

In last year’s game, Duncan pretty much stole the show,  scoring 17 points and eight rebounds. Duncan played varsity basketball when he attended Harvard University and went to Australia afterward to play professionally.

Duncan will be playing with people including sprinter Usain Bolt,, entertainers Kevin Hart, Ne-Yo, Common, Trey Songz, Nick Cannon and Josh Hutcherson, and former NBA players Dikembe Mutombo and Clyde Drexler, according to ESPN.

Obama, Duncan playing in 2009. ( Basketball at the White House has become synonymous with Obama's first term. Here he is playing with Secretary of Education Arne Duncan in February 2009. White House photo/Pete Souza) Obama, Duncan playing in 2009. (White House photo/Pete Souza)

Duncan is a frequent guest of Obama’s on the basketball court, including a game played in Chicago last Nov. 6, the day Obama was re-elected president.  Players included former Chicago Bulls star Scottie Pippen.

Duncan is using the Texas trip to participate in a discussion about turnaround schools and tour a high school that  received a $6 million School Improvement Grant.

Valerie Strauss covers education and runs The Answer Sheet blog.



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Valerie Strauss · February 15, 2013