Former President George H.W. Bush salutes Coach K, Duke

Jan. 18, 2014 @ 08:27 PM

Three days after President Barack Obama buzzed the Triangle, former President George H.W. Bush came to Cameron Indoor Stadium Saturday to watch a friend’s basketball team.

Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski and Bush have become colleagues through the fight against cancer in the last two decades. Bush, the 41st president who rarely travels anymore, came as a salute to Krzyzewski, staying through the game and visiting the Blue Devils’ locker room after a 95-60 Duke win over N.C. State.

“For him to honor us in this way was as big an honor as we could possibly have,” Krzyzewski said. “We’re talking about a guy who was the youngest fighter pilot in WWII, a pretty good baseball player, a guy who opened up the doors for us to have relations with China, a guy who led our country, was commander in chief, and privately over the last 15 years has started two organizations to fight cancer.”

Bush is founder and co-chairman of the CEO Roundtable on Cancer, a group he founded in 2001. The idea was to challenge executives to do something bold and venturesome about cancer. Krzyzewski has been an honorary member and chairman.

“I publicly want to thank President Bush for being here and he brought us good luck,” Krzyzewski said. “I asked him what he was doing on Wednesday, if he wanted to come to Miami, but I don’t think he’s coming. So we’re going to have to do it on our own.”

Contact the writer at awooten@hendersondispatch.com.