President Obama's niece threatened before Princeton-Maryland game

Threat against President Obama's niece prompts increased security at Maryland-Princeton NCAA tournament game

A threat made against President Obama's niece, Leslie Robinson, a forward for the Princeton Tigers, prompted increased security at Monday's NCAA tournament game between Princeton and Maryland, according to USA Today.

The Maryland Athletics Department reportedly received a voicemail Monday from a woman who said that a man with a gun was driving around the campus. The message linked the man's actions to the freshman's presence for the second-round game of the women's NCAA tournament.

Leslie Robinson is the daughter of Craig Robinson, the brother of First Lady Michelle Obama. Craig Robinson previously spent four years as the coach of the Oregon State men's basketball team.

The increased security for the game was to include undercover police officers near the team's bench as well as Secret Service personnel who were already expected to be at the game because Supreme Court Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan were in attendance.

Princeton Coach Courtney Banghart was made aware of the threat made against her player, though Leslie Robinson reportedly wasn't told.

Maryland defeated Princeton, 85-70, to advance to the third round of the tournament. Leslie Robinson, who had been averaging 9.4 minutes per game for the previously unbeaten Tigers, did not play in the loss.

"It's incredibly disappointing that the first question we get [after] being 31-1 [and] in the NCAA Tournament is about a freak," Banghart said according to the Associated Press.

"College Park police, I'm sure, had that under control," Banghart continued. "Leslie is safe. She's in my locker room. No one loves her like I do. She's an important part of our team. Keep the freaks out of our gym."

The President did not attend Monday night's game, but he had watched Princeton's first-round matchup with Wisconsin Green Bay in person on Saturday.

Follow Matt Wilhalme on Twitter @mattwilhalme

Copyright © 2018, Los Angeles Times


6:34 p.m.: Adds quotes from Princeton Coach Courtney Banghart.

This story was originally published at 5:52 p.m.

EDITION: California | U.S. & World