"The Presidential Medal of Freedom is not just our nation's highest civilian honor," Obama said. "It's a tribute to the idea that all of us, no matter where we come from, have the opportunity to change this country for the better. From scientists, philanthropists and public servants to activists, athletes and artists, these 21 individuals have helped push America forward, inspiring millions of people around the world along the way."
That "guy from Space Jam" can add this distinguished medal to his trophy case along with his six NBA championship rings, two Olympic gold medals and all the other basketball accolades he earned during his Hall of Fame career.
-- Paul Saldaña