UPDATE 2: George Marshall gets a huge assist (extra points for a point guard pun).
Jim Polzin of the Wisconsin State Journal has a pretty cool round-up of how the visit happened. Turns out, Zach Bohannon (read about his efforts below) got a pretty big hand from redshirt freshman point guard George Marshall.
That's where Marshall, who's probably the quietest player on the team, stepped in with an idea. Martin Nesbitt, one of Obama's good friends, was the assistant coach on Marshall's AAU team; Nesbitt's son, Alex, who now plays at Harvard, was also on the team.
"I came off real confident about it," Marshall said when asked if he really thought he could arrange the meeting with Obama, "but I just thought I could give it a try."
Marshall called his father, got Martin Nesbitt's number, and placed a call Thursday morning. Martin Nesbitt was in Denver with Obama at the time - the president was there for his Wednesday night debate with Republican challenger Mitt Romney - and thought Obama would be able to meet with the Badgers.
UWBadgers.com also has a recap of the visit here.
UPDATE: It's official.
Just got done going thru security... This is happening. #Badgers and @barackobama— Patrick Herb (@BadgerMBB) October 4, 2012
Zach Bohannon started a Twitter push earlier in the week, and now his campaigning has paid off. Per tweets from the junior transfer forward's Twitter page, President Obama will be meeting Wisconsin's men's basketball team on Thursday before addressing the UW-Madison campus for the second time in the last four years.
We might not get to play pickup, but our team gets to meet THE MR. PRESIDENT (@barackobama)!!!— Zach Bohannon (@ZBohannon) October 4, 2012
Apparently, the visit will consist of a "private team meeting," and not a pickup game. Obama famously played hoops with the North Carolina basketball team in April 2008, though perhaps with the shortened timeline that wasn't a possibility this week.
More details are expected to become available, and we'll be sure to have them here.
A few more tweets:
On our to see the President right now!!— Traevon Jackson (@T_Jacks12) October 4, 2012
We assume Jackson just left out a word there.
@badgermbb we are meeting the POTUS!!! No pickup, just a private team meeting! Thanks in large part to @gmjr_11!— Zach Bohannon (@ZBohannon) October 4, 2012