The Cardinals' defensive end takes part in the President's Easter festivities
Calais Campbell was playing with some kids on the basketball court on the White House grounds during Monday's Easter Egg Roll when President Barack Obama appeared.
The President greeted some of the pro athletes on hand – along with Campbell, NBA guard John Wall of the Washington Wizards was also nearby – and then moved on to say hello to some of the children. Then the leader of the free world doubled back to shoot a few jump shots.
"I thought about blocking his shot," the 6-foot-8 Campbell said by phone Tuesday while still in Washington, D.C. "But I respect him too much."
It was the first time Campbell had a chance to meet the President but the second straight year Campbell had participated in the 137th annual Easter Egg Roll which had more than 35,000 participants gather on the South Lawn according to the White House.
It wasn't just about rolling eggs, however. With a major fitness component pushed from First Lady Michelle Obama – whom Campbell now considers a friend after meeting her at the 2014 event – the Cardinals' defensive end not only worked with kids on football drills but also the aforementioned basketball skills.
"I'm a big kid myself," Campbell said. "That's my passion, working with kids and sports. Teaching them is awesome.
"It's all for the kids."
Campbell also read to some of the younger children, taking a turn with the famous page-turner "Curious George."
Campbell is hopeful that he'll someday get his chance to visit the White House under circumstances pro athletes are known more for, a Presidential ceremony after a Super Bowl victory. But he loves the chance to help the Obamas in their event – "I've always been a supporter," he said – and the chance to spend a little time with the President was a thrill in itself.
"There are not too many people I am impressed by," Campbell said. "When I meet celebrities, I kind of see them as equals.
"But Barack Obama is one person I consider a true celebrity."