George Clooney Admits Amal Smoked Him and Barack Obama on the Basketball Court: 'She Beat Us All'


Amal Clooney is good at a whole lot of things.

An esteemed human rights lawyer, she has prosecuted international war criminals and successfully worked to free journalists from wrongful imprisonment. She’s an international law professor, and of course a devoted mom and wife.

But a phenom on the basketball court? According to her proud husband George Clooney, indeed she is.

“I’ll tell you this – we had a free throw-shooting contest at our house in England with the former president of the United States, Barack Obama, and she beat us all,” Clooney tells PEOPLE in this week’s cover story where he is named one of the magazine’s People of the Year.

“Amal made 17 free throws straight – and 18 out of 20.”

Clooney recalls making 12 shots out of 20 and being left in the dust by his wife.

“I was shooting like Shaq free throws– no offense to Shaq,” the Oscar winner acknowledges. “Amal is a really good athlete.”

RELATED: George Clooney on Life with 3-Year-Old Twins, from Diaper Pranks to Peppa Pig: 'They Keep Me Young'

In fact, Amal, 42, is no slouch on the pickleball court either. “She kills me – if we play six games, I’ll win maybe two,” says the star, 59, who has a pickleball court at his L.A. home where the two face off.

“When I was younger, I won some tennis tournaments. I played a lot of sports – I still play a lot of sports, and I can actually play [well],” says Clooney. “And Amal just beats the hell out of me.”

Clooney takes comfort, however, in his win-rate in a slightly less physical activity.

“I beat her to death in Scrabble!” he says. “Everyone would think that I’d be winning in pickleball and she’d be winning in Scrabble, [but] no. I said to her, ‘You see, this is where we’re breaking all the stereotypes’.”

Watch the full episode of People of the Year: George Clooney streaming now on, or download the PeopleTV app on your favorite device.

The actor, who directs and stars in the upcoming Netflix film, The Midnight Sky, out Dec. 23, claims to also be the better cook. “Amal has one Lebanese tradition that she hasn’t been able to shake and that is she makes reservations for dinner,” he says. “So I’m the chef.”

Recently, Clooney says Amal attempted to make eggs without taking a key step. “She literally put an egg in pan,” he says. “She was going to hard boil an egg without any water in the pan.”

He concludes, with a signature smile: “So she can get these amazing journalists out of prison in Egypt or Azerbaijan – nobody [else] can get them out of prison – but I’m the guy in charge of the eggs, okay?”