Basketball is important to Indiana, and legendary Hoosiers coach Bobby Knight said Friday that he doesn't know if voters will warm up to a candidate who calls a hoop a "ring," like GOP presidential candidate Ted Cruz did this week.
"A guy that would come into this state and think that we played with rings instead of baskets is not a guy prepared to do a hell of a lot," the outspoken retired Indiana University coach, who announced his endorsement of GOP front-runner Donald Trump this week, said while sitting for an interview, along with Trump, with Fox News' Brian Kilmeade.
The interview was recorded on Thursday before their rally in Evansville, Indiana and aired on Friday on the Fox News' "Fox & Friends"
Earlier this week, Cruz made the gaffe in the gym where the iconic movie "Hoosiers" was filmed, drawing fire on Twitter and in Indiana when he said during the rally that the "basketball ring in Indiana, it's the same height as it is New York City and every other place in this country."
Knight has never really endorsed a candidate before now, Kilmeade pointed out, but the basketball coach told him that he did it this time because he wants to help the United States.
"It was not complex," Knight told him. "I consider myself to be, more than anything else, an American. There's nothing I would rather do in my lifetime than do something to help the United States.
"What better than to recommend this man as president because there is nobody in the United States' presidential history that has come into the presidency or would come into the presidency with the background and the ability that Mr. Trump has."
Trump said that Knight called him last year, while he was still thinking about running.
Trump said he is happy to have Knight's endorsement, and prefers it far over that of Carly Fiorina, who Cruz named as his running mate this week.
"As far as Carly is concerned, she's a nice woman, but she failed very miserably when she ran," said Trump, referring to Fiorina's own failed bid for the GOP nomination. "He went to practically nothing and then left the race. If I had my choice between Carly and the coach, I'd take the coach every single time. That I can tell you."
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