President Barack Obama welcomes the Jackie Robinson West team to the Oval Office Nov. 6, 2014. 
Official White House photo by Pete Souza

Members of Jackie Robinson West, the beloved Chicago Little League team that made national news this summer, have visited the White House, the Chicago Tribune reports.

The Jackie Robinson West team became a national sensation by reaching the Little League World Series championship game. The team lost to Seoul Little League of South Korea, but that did not stop the players from becoming Chicago hometown heroes.

“The big thing for the kids is the idea that their circumstances don’t determine their ceiling. They are the best in the United States. These kids—really humble kids—are the best in the United States,” Little League volunteer Bill Haley told the Tribune.

President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama posed for photos with the 13 team members present. The team presented the Obamas with custom-made baseball gloves and jerseys. The president encouraged the players to stay in school, and the first lady emphasized the importance of exercise.


Team member Marquis Jackson, 13, told the president that he wanted to “face him in basketball.”

“The president told him that he needs to grow a little bit more before they play,” team manager Darold Butler said.


Read more at the Chicago Tribune.