Obama and Palin Face Off in a Game of Hoops

Politicians hit the court in Wii-adapted ‘NBA Jam’

By Mike Snider | USA TODAY

Both political teams have their own uniforms, logos and home courts. "It wasn't like we just threw them in at the last minute," Smith says. "It's something we had planned from the get-go."

President Obama’s approval rating may be taking some hits, but his basketball cred is about to take a leap: He’s among the unlockable characters in the new NBA Jam video game, out today.

Being a hoops fanatic — as the president is — is not a prerequisite for NBA Jam treatment. President Clinton appeared in the original 1994 home version. But the developers for the new Wii adaptation ($50, all ages) took special care this time around.

“Since President Obama is a baller, we kind of blew it out even further,” says Trey Smith, creative director of the game for EA Sports. “When you dunk with him, he has some special animations and some special dunks.”

PHOTO GALLERY: First look at ‘NBA Jam’

here’s a quorum of other politicians in the game. On the Democratic side, Vice President Biden, former president Clinton, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton; on the Republican side, Sen. John McCain and his onetime running mate Sarah Palin, former president George W. Bush and former vice president Dick Cheney. You must earn the codes to unlock these secret characters by winning challenges in the game or by experimenting.

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