Former President Barack Obama is coming to Boston next month to talk about… sports?
Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey announced Friday night that Obama is scheduled to speak Friday, February 23, at the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center.
.@BarackObama, the 44th President of the United States, will speak at @SloanSportsConf February 23. We are pleased to welcome President Barack Obama, a well-known sports fan. Visit https://t.co/wlolrXKV9Q for more details #ssac18 #analyzethis
— Daryl Morey (@dmorey) January 6, 2018
A spokesman for the conference said there was no additional information currently available about Obama’s planned appearance. But as Morey, who co-founded the conference in 2006, noted, the former president is a “well-known sports fan.”
A once-niche event for sports nerds that debuted in 2007, Sloan has grown into a wide-ranging forum on analytics, business, and technology attended by some of the most prominent figures and executives in the sports industry. The 2017 Sloan conference last February saw more than 3,500 attendees fill the Hynes Convention Center.
Other notable speakers at this year’s two-day conference include MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, Celtics co-owner Steve Pagliuca, former baseball player Alex Rodriguez, former basketball player Steve Nash, and data journalist Nate Silver, among many others.
In 2015, Obama said in an interview that he would “absolutely” want to be a part of an NBA ownership team. The White House subsequently confirmed at the time that the president — an avid Chicago sports fan and competitive pickup basketball player — had “discussed” owning a team and would potentially pursue the opportunity “under the right circumstances.”
Obama made his most recent public appearance in Boston last May when he accepted the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum’s annual Profile in Courage Award.