Bill Clinton relives his athletic glory days

Story highlights

  • Bill Clinton reminisced about when he scored 16 points in church league basketball and "almost" dunked the ball
  • "It was just one of those magical nights," he said, "My hand got like right at the rim and I almost got the ball dunked in."
  • Clinton also spoke about how he got star struck while golfing with Jack Nicklaus and had funny encounters with championship teams at the White House

Washington (CNN)Bill Clinton has had a number of glory days since he played church league basketball in Arkansas. But in an interview on Thursday, the former president reminisced about the unexpected high point in his athletic life.

Clinton called into the Mike & Mike show on ESPN Radio to talk about Humana Challenge PGA Tour event this weekend in California. The event is partly run by the Clinton Foundation and coincides with a Clinton foundation summit on personal health.
But the hosts, Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic, got the former president to talk about that time he "almost" dunked a basketball in a church league game.
    "I was in a church league. I wasn't very good, I was too heavy. But I would run pretty well in short distances," Clinton said. "One night I was the leading scorer on our team. I scored 16 points in a church league game, never have before or since."
    He then added, "And I nearly dunked a ball! And I was only, at the time, six feet tall. I don't know what happened. It was just one of those magical nights. My hand got like right at the rim and I almost got the ball dunked in. I figured maybe every human being on earth is granted one good day in a sports game."
    Clinton has long been an avid sports fan and has remarked in the past that he watched more games while his wife, Hillary Clinton, was traveling for work as secretary of state.
    While in the White House, Clinton also had the opportunity -- as all presidents do -- to congratulate and meet championship teams from the major U.S. sports leagues, something, he said, he "really, really enjoyed."
    "I had incredible encounters with some of the athletes that would say hilarious things to me," Clinton said remembering those meetings. "One football team, and I won't say with one, one of their greatest defensive players through his massive arm around me and he said, 'I may be the only person here who voted for you.' I loved it."
    Clinton was also an avid golfer in the White House and recently took to defending President Barack Obama against heat he occasionally takes for golfing.
    The former president said the most star struck he was on the course was when he played two rounds with Jack Nicklaus, a legendary golfer with 18 career major wins.
    "We played this one par 5 hole," Clinton remembered. "And I out drove Jack Nicklaus by a foot. He looks at me and I could tell he didn't like it."
    He continued: "We were both on this par 5 hole in 2 [shots] and I was only eight feet away from an eagle. I had never had an eagle on a par 5 hole. Ever. And I literally stubbed the putt. It was the worst put you could have imagined. Jack Nicholas looked at me and said, 'You didn't think you were worthy of an eagle, did you?' I said, 'I guess not.' He smiled and he said, 'You need to get over that.' I'll never forget that for as long as I live."