Trump to host NCAA champions at white house Friday

Donald Trump
President Donald Trump speaks to reporters upon his return to the White House in Washington, Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017. Citizens of eight countries will face new restrictions on entry to the U.S. under a proclamation signed by Trump on Sunday. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is set to host collegiate sports championship teams at the White House on Friday, although a list of teams attending has not been provided.

Trump hosted the Clemson Tigers football team at the White House in June. The University of North Carolina’s men’s basketball team said earlier this year it could not agree on a date for a visit.

The South Carolina women’s basketball team will not be attending after declining an invitation.

“We did hear from the White House about attending tomorrow’s event, but we will not be able to attend,” coach Dawn Staley said in a statement Thursday night. “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.”

Staley said in April that her team would go if invited because “it’s what it stands for. It’s what national champions do.” She told The Associated Press in late September that she hadn’t received an invite and “that spoke volumes.”

Trump sparred with professional athletes earlier this year when NBA star Stephen Curry said his championship-winning Golden State Warriors didn’t wish to meet with Trump. The feud erupted as Trump was lambasting NFL athletes for kneeling in protest during the national anthem.

The White House says NCAA teams will attend a reception at the executive mansion.
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AP Basketball Writer Doug Feinberg contributed to this story.