Every path to adulthood is strewn with missteps, epiphanies, and hard-earned lessons. Only Reggie Love’s, however, went through the White House by way of Duke University’s Cameron Indoor Stadium. Mentored by both Coach Krzyzewski and President Obama, Love shares universal insights learned in unique circumstances, an education in how sports, politics, and life can define who you are, what you believe in, and what it takes to make a difference.
Power Forward tells the story of the five years Love worked as a personal assistant to Senator Obama as a candidate for president, and President Obama, and it is a professional coming of age story like no other. What the public knows was well put by Time magazine in 2008: “[Love’s] official duties don’t come close to capturing Reggie’s close bond with Obama, who plays a role that is part boss and part big brother.” What the public doesn’t know are the innumerable private moments during which that bond was forged and the President mentored a malleable young man. Accountability and serving with pride and honor were learned during unsought moments: from co-coaching grade school girls basketball with the president; lending Obama his tie ahead of a presidential debate; managing a personal life when no hour is truly his own; being tasked with getting the candidate up in the morning on time for long days of campaigning.
From his first interview with Senator Obama, to his near-decision not to follow the president-elect to the White House, to eventually bringing LeBron, Melo, D-Wade, and Kobe to play with the President on his forty-ninth birthday, Love drew on Coach K’s teachings as he learned to navigate Washington. But it was while owning up to losing (briefly) the President’s briefcase, figuring out how to compete effectively in pick-up games in New Hampshire during the primary to secure support and votes, babysitting the children of visiting heads of state, and keeping the President company at every major turning point of his historic first campaign and administration, that Love learned how persistence and passion can lead not only to success, but to a broader concept of responsibility.