Virginia basketball latest champions to decline White House invite

Add Virginia men's basketball to the long list of teams who won’t celebrate a championship with President Trump at the White House.

The program tweeted a statement from head coach Tony Bennett Friday that stated the team has " received inquiries about a visit to the White House.

"With several players either pursuing pro opportunities or moving on from UVA, it would be difficult, if not impossible to get everyone back together," Bennett added. "We would have to respectfully decline an invitation."

The Cavaliers beat Texas Tech 85-77 earlier this month to win the program's first-ever NCAA men's basketball championship.

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The Villanova Wildcats, who won last year's national title, didn’t visit the White House, either.

However, the Clemson Tigers, who won the college football championship in January, did go to the White House — where Trump famously served them fast food from McDonald’s, Wendy’s and Burger King.

Virginia head coach Tony Bennett. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

Virginia head coach Tony Bennett. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

In January, the 2018 NBA champion Golden State Warriors met with former President Barack Obama rather than visit with Trump, who had tweeted in September 2017  that the team's invitation to celebrate that year's title was "withdrawn" after Warriors star Steph Curry said he wouldn't go.

The president also called off a visit by the Philadelphia Eagles after they won Super Bowl 52 in 2018 after it became clear that only a few players planned on attending.

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The Cavaliers “are part of one of the greatest stories that I’ve ever seen written and it will be told over and over again,” Bennett said to a crowd, estimated at 21,000 on the school’s Twitter account, which filled one side of Scott Stadium in Charlottesville five days after the victory.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.