My brother Jim Beckwith mailed this to the White House on January 25, 2009:
President Barack Obama: January 25, 2009
RE: The Gym Beckwith Basketball Decathlon
Dear Mr. President:
Each year on the first Friday of the NCAA tournament I host at my home a basketball decathlon. It involves 10 events. Some are outdoor events on my sport court (free throw contest, 3-pt contest, longest shot, etc.) while others are “indoor” events which involve picking the college games played that day.
Since we share the same age and a passion for hoops, I am inviting you to participate this year. I generally have 12-15 guys about our age playing. This is my tenth year doing this, and each year I try to break in a rookie. You could be our rookie this year.
I think you will feel comfortable with the group. We do have a couple of Ivy Leaguers playing (Big Mike Brown a Penn All-American and Andy Gordon who graduated from Harvard Law School). Our group is very diverse, so race is never an issue. The incident with Joe Hong having to shoot with the yellow ball was sheer coincidence.
As soon as I get the RSVP’s from the other guys, I’ll send you a list of participants for security purposes. Senator John Ensign knows most of the guys, so you can probably just have him eyeball the list. In fact, the veterinarian who Ensign used to practice with, Doc Yach, plays in my event. He is left-handed and shoots 3-pointers Rick Barry style!
I will announce the outdoor events in a couple of weeks so you can begin practicing the skills necessary to win the cup. The indoor events are not announced until the day after selection Sunday, so I’ll need your e-mail to get that to you right away. You will only have a couple of days to ponder before making your choices.
If Danny Tarkanian can play with two artificial hips and my brother Frank Beckwith (#1 person of the year by Inside the Vatican magazine 2007) can travel from Notre Dame to nail a three, then certainly the leader of the free world can try his hand at speed shooting. The official invite is reprinted below:
Four score minus 70 years ago, Gym brought forth on the sportcourt a new event, conceived in his fertile mind, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal (even Christopher Reeves). The world will little note nor long remember the lame excuses of those who have declined to participate, but can never forget the valor of those that did.
You are invited to the 10th annual Gym Beckwith Basketball Decathlon:
Friday, March 20th, 9:00 a.m. The court opens one hour earlier. Lunch will be catered.
Please respond so that I know how many people I will defeat.
As of March 15, 2009, the President has not responded.
(For legalists out there, I wrote this, with the exception of this line and the last one, before the beginning of Lent).