A threat was made against President Obama’s niece, a freshman forward on the Princeton’s women’s basketball team before Monday night’s NCAA tournament game between the Tigers and the Maryland Terrapins.
The University of Maryland Police Department (UMPD) said Monday night after the game that the department had received a call about 3 p.m. “stating that the caller had received a text from a third party indicating that a male that she knew had a gun and mentioned President Obama’s niece.”
The Secret Service was notified and the call prompted increased security at the game, which was played on the Maryland team’s home floor in College Park.
The threat against Leslie Robinson was first reported by USA Today before the game, which Maryland won 85-70, ending the Tigers’ unbeaten run.
Miss Robinson’s father, Craig Robinson, is the brother of first lady Michelle Obama and was himself a Division I men’s basketball head coach, at Brown and Oregon State.
The UMPD said the game passed without incident and the details “passed on from this third party are unsubstantiated.”
Princeton coach Courtney Banghart said at a post-game news conference that she was aware of the threat before the game, but her player was not.
“What I can tell you is exactly what you just said. That’s exactly what happened. And it’s incredibly disappointing that the first question we get after being 31-1 in the NCAA tournament is about” this,” Ms. Banghart said.
“Leslie’s safe. She’s in my locker room. Nobody loves her like I do. And she’s an important part of our team. So, keep the freaks out of the gym, how about it?” she said.
On Saturday, Mr. Obama attended Princeton’s 80-70 first-round victory over Green Bay.
Neither the president nor the first lady attended Monday’s game, the Associated Press reported, although Supreme Court Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan did. Both women are Princeton alumnae, and both Mrs. Obama and Mr. Robinson also received degrees from the Ivy League school.