The White House
President George W. Bush
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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
May 31, 2001

Remarks by the President in Photo Opportunity with University of Nebraska 2001 NCAA Women's Volleyball Champions
The Rose Garden

Listen to the President's Remarks

8:55 A.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT: Welcome, thank you. Be seated. It's my honor to welcome some true champs to the Rose Garden. And thank you all for coming. To the team, I'm honored you're here. To the family and friends who are here, thank you so much for accompanying the champions. Coach Cook, thank you for being here. And I want to thank the Athletic Director, as well.

I've spent some time watching Big XII sports. (Laughter.) Ever since the Big XII combined, some of my Texas teams haven't fared too well -- (laughter) -- including the Texas volleyball teams. So I want to congratulate you all for being here. When I ran for office, I told the voters I would surround myself with excellence. I did so again today. (Laughter.)

This has been an unbelievably strong team, made up of some unique individuals, starting with the Player of the Year, Greichaly Cepero. It is a huge honor to be the Player of the Year. And Greichaly, congratulations to you, and Amber Holmquist and Laura Pilakowki.

But it's more than just to be great players, it's important to be good people, too. And that's the thing that I have been most impressed with by this club. Not only are the girls up here champs on the court, but they've been champs in the classroom. And it's important for young men and women who look at the Nebraska champs to understand that quality of life is more than just blocking shots. Good quality of life means excelling in the classroom and also in the neighborhoods across America.

One of the reasons I'm so thankful to be able to welcome sports champions to the Rose Garden is that it gives me a chance to remind people about what a responsible society should be about, and it should be about loving a neighbor like you'd like to be loved yourself, or setting good strong examples when you have an opportunity to do so.

And finally, I can't go without saying how impressed I am by the Nebraska fan base. (Laughter.) Whether it be for women's volleyball or maybe football. (Laughter.) But there's nothing like the Big Red. So again, I want to congratulate you all for coming.

The other thing I want to say about the coach is that obviously it requires -- a good team requires somebody who knows how to build a team. And that's why your coach is Coach of the Year, and deservedly so.

So on behalf of a well-oiled unit of people who came together to serve something greater than themselves, congratulations. (Applause.)

* * * * *

(A presentation was made.) (Laughter and applause.)

THE PRESIDENT: So here's what we're going to do. Why don't you all come -- and if you'd complete the trip, why don't you come into the Oval Office, so I can show you one of the great shrines of America. Thank you all for coming. (Applause.)

END 9:05 A.M. EDT

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