President Trump welcomed 18 NCAA championship teams to the White House Friday, congratulating them on their success and posing for photos.
The visit also reportedly included a tour to the Oval Office.
Trump was especially pleased when he saw Maryland lacrosse player Dylan Maltz wearing a “Trump ’16” necktie, shaking his hand and holding up the tie for reporters to see. Maltz later tweeted to the president, ” @realDonaldTrump it was an honor to meet you today!!! You are the best!! #MAGA.” (See below.)
One team spurned the invitation, however. The University of South Carolina women’s basketball team refused to go. Earlier this month, a tiff appeared to erupt, when head coach Dawn Staley claimed they hadn’t been invited.
“We haven’t gotten an invitation yet and that in itself speaks volumes,” Staley said. “We won before those other teams won their championships. I don’t know what else has to happen.”
However, on Thursday, Staley released another statement, saying, “We did hear from the White House about attending tomorrow’s event, but we will not be able to attend,” Staley said. “As I’ve been saying since our practices for this season started, all of our focus is on the season ahead. The only invitation we are thinking about is to the 2018 NCAA Tournament.”
The University of North Carolina’s men’s basketball team also said they weren’t going due to scheduling conflicts.
President Trump sent out a post on Twitter later Friday, saying, “Today, it was an honor to celebrate the Collegiate National Champions of 2016/2017 at the @WhiteHouse! #NCAAChampions.”
He provided a video of highlights from the day, along with an Instagram link where formal photos can be viewed of each team.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 17, 2017
— Dylan Maltz (@DylanMaltz10) November 17, 2017
Today, @POTUS @reaDonaldTrump hosted Collegiate National Champions🏆Day! Check out raw video with a dozen+ @NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP teams & some audio moments of those historical moments.⚾️🏉🎾🏐⛳️🏌️🏇🚣♀️🤼♂️🏃🎳🏊♀️🚴♀️🏃♀️⛷
— Dan Scavino Jr. (@Scavino45) November 17, 2017
— Lax Sports Network (@LaxSportsNet) November 17, 2017
Here are some of the Student-Athletes that visited President Trump at the White House today! 🇺🇸 pic.twitter.com/dfeqLkJfjJ
— Students For Trump (@TrumpStudents) November 18, 2017