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Michelle Obama praises rarely-seen lookalike brother as she discusses his bond with husband Barack

The former First Lady has one sibling, who was also a star basketball player

Former U.S. President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama participate in the unveiling of their official portraits during a ceremony at the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery, on February 12, 2018 in Washington, DC. The portraits were commissioned by the Gallery, for Kehinde Wiley to create President Obama's portrait, and Amy Sherald that of Michelle Obama
Ahad Sanwari
Ahad Sanwari - New York
Senior WriterNew York
20 March 2024
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Michelle Obama is one proud younger sister, as she took to social media to lavish praise on her older brother Craig Robinson.

The former First Lady of the United States, 60, is only nine months younger than Craig, 61, who is a college basketball coach and broadcaster, a former star player himself for Princeton University in the '80s. He is currently the Executive Director of the National Association of Basketball Coaches.

Michelle revealed on Instagram that Craig's new podcast, Ways to Win, in collaboration with coach John Calipari, had finally arrived, and their very first guest is none other than Craig's brother-in-law and Michelle's husband Barack Obama.

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The renowned author gushed: "Craig's Ways To Win Podcast from @HigherGroundMedia is out now, and I am so proud of my big brother! Craig has always had the ability to bring out the best in others – including me – and I know listening to this podcast will leave you feeling the same way, too."

She continued: "Each week, he'll join @UKCoachCalipari to share wisdom and lessons about leadership that are helpful not just in sports, but in your daily life."

Michelle unpacked a little more of Craig's bond with Barack, 62, who he counts as a close friend. "In their first episode, Craig and John chat with @BarackObama about his #MarchMadness picks, leadership, and their enduring love for basketball."

Many fans particularly noted how similar the siblings looked, particularly their bright smiles, leaving responses like: "Amazing resemblance," and: "Ouchhhhhhhh!!!! The smile that's a huge resemblance there," as well as: "You both have the same wonderful smile."

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Craig and Barack first became friends when the latter began dating Michelle, his colleague at her law firm, and she asked her brother to test out his basketball skills by playing a pickup game in Chicago with him and his friends. 

GOOD MORNING AMERICA -  Robin Roberts interviews former first lady Michelle Obama live in Chicago on Tuesday, November 13, 2018. "Good Morning America" airs Monday-Friday on the Walt Disney Television via Getty Images Television Network.
Michelle and Craig have a close sibling bond

That game was seen as a "test" by Craig, who eventually deemed that the former POTUS had "passed," and that anecdote has since been used several times during the Obama presidential campaign as one of his key selling points.

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In an interview with Esquire, Craig himself broke it all down, explaining how it all really went down: "When I played basketball with Barack, he was quietly confident, which means he had good self-esteem without being cocky. 

First lady Michelle Obama's brother Craig Robinson and U.S. President Barack Obama's sister Dr. Maya Kassandra Soetoro-Ng speak on stage during day one of the Democratic National Convention at Time Warner Cable Arena on September 4, 2012 in Charlotte, North Carolina. The DNC that will run through September 7, will nominate U.S. President Barack Obama as the Democratic presidential candidate. © Getty Images
The basketball star turned coach and exec has supported his sister and brother-in-law throughout their time in office

"He was certainly a team player – he wasn't a pig, he passed when he was supposed to pass, and he cut when he was supposed to cut. To me, that speaks to a lack of selfishness." 

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He continued: "He had natural leadership ability, because he didn't just pass me the ball because he was dating my sister. Whenever a player gets tired, he reverts back to the player he truly is. That's how you tell. And we played for hours. That's how I could tell."

U.S. President Barack Obama sits beside his brother-in-law Craig Robinson while attending the Green Bay versus Princeton women's college basketball game in the first round of the NCAA tournament, March 21, 2015 in College Park, Maryland. President Barack Obama's niece Leslie Robinson plays for Princeton.© Getty Images
Craig developed a friendship with Barack after playing a game together when he first started dating Michelle

When questioned how much a person can really learn about someone through just four hours of basketball, he affirmed: "I think if you ask anyone who plays basketball seriously, they will echo what I am telling you right now. Just from working my own guys out, I can tell everything about each one of those players."

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