CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WHSV) — While there's no word on whether the University of Virginia men's basketball team has been invited to the White House to celebrate their NCAA Championship, their head coach says they would be unable to go if they were invited.
“We have received inquiries about a visit to the White House," Coach Tony Bennett said in an official statement issued Friday. "With several players either pursuing pro opportunities or moving on from UVA, it would be difficult, if not impossible to get everyone back together. We would have to respectfully decline an invitation.”
Bennett, who was recently named to Fortune Magazine's annual list of the "World's 50 Greatest Leaders," is referring to junior guard Kyle Guy, redshirt sophomore guard De’Andre Hunter, junior point guard Ty Jerome, and Mamadi Diakite, who have all declared for the NBA Draft.
Soon after the championship, a UVA alumna created an online petition calling for the team not to visit the White House, citing President Trump's response to the "Unite the Right" rally where Heather Heyer was killed by a white nationalist.
However, according to Bennett, the team's decision is not be based in politics, but practicality.