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Secretary of Education Arne Duncan Spotlights Drop-out Rates Through Basketball

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February 27, 2012 04:36 pm

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It is no secret that President Obama’s love of basketball resonates within the White House, but it looks as though the Commander in Chief’s cabinet could double for its own all-star team. U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan wowed the crowd inside the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida over the weekend for the 2012 NBA All-Star Celebrity Basketball Game.

Despite the presence of famous actors, comedians, rappers, and NBA legends, Secretary Duncan garnered the most buzz on social networking sites such as Twitter, at one point becoming 5 of the top trending topics in the United States. Duncan showcased his skills, especially in the first half, providing one of the game’s best highlights with a spinning, over-the-shoulder pass to rapper J. Cole. Although a star athlete when he played college basketball at Harvard, the now 47-year-old Duncan still put on a show with 17 points, 8 rebounds, and 5 assists while leading the East to a blow-out win over the West: 86-54.

The Secretary used his moment in the spotlight to draw attention to the dropout rate. Secretary Duncan sported the number 26 as he played; making note that every 26 seconds a young person drops out of high school in the United States. The cause received special recognition and praise from LeBron James during a halftime interview. James has led the NBA’s campaign to keep kids in school in a season-long advertising campaign designed to raise awareness. Although James chose to enter the NBA immediately after high school instead of going to college, he has consistently cited his high school diploma as a defining factor in his life.

Secretary Duncan’s stellar performance had fans on twitter jokingly encouraging their favorite teams to inquire whether Secretary Duncan would be willing to exchange his Department of Education business suit to suit up on the court.

Check out highlights from the game here.

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