By Bob Vazquez, Assistant Athletic Director, Media Relations
Honolulu, Hi. – It's not very often you see first hand the high-powered and highly sophisticated security that is afforded our world leaders.
The Cal State Northridge basketball team saw it up-front-and-close when it arrived at the team hotel near Waikiki Beach on Saturday afternoon.
Little did the team know that when it arrived, a large contingent of the world's influential leaders were participating in the two-day Asia-Pacific 2011 CEO Economic Summit at the nearby Sheraton Waikiki Hotel.
The list of world leaders included President Barack Obama along with Presidents and Prime Ministers from such major countries as China (President Hu Jintao), Russia (President Dmitry Medvedev), Japan (Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda), Canada (Prime Minister Stephen Harper), New Zealand (Deputy Prime Minister Bill English), South Korea (President Lee Myung-Bak) and Australia (Prime Minister Julia Gillard).
President Obama participated in the Summit on Saturday. President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama had arrived on Friday night after attending the North Carolina-Michigan State basketball game in the first hoops game on an active aircraft carrier (The USS Carl Vinson).
Secretary of State Hilary Rodham Clinton also addressed the world's leaders in Honolulu.
Highly visible and well-armed Secret Service agents were present everywhere along with armored humvees, armed soldiers and other state and Honolulu city police personnel in downtown Honolulu.
The immediate streets near the team hotel and at the Asia-Pacific Economic Summit at the Sheraton Waikiki Hotel were closed to the public. Normally, the Matador team bus, which picked up the team from its nearly six hour flight from Los Angeles to Honolulu earlier on Saturday, would have been able to drive up directly to the team hotel entrance in downtown Honolulu, but the extremely high-level security at the CEO Summit forced to team to depart the bus on a nearby street.
Once the team walked and approached the front entrance of the hotel, the players, coaches and staff, and other hotel occupants were only allowed into the area with a photo ID and if their names appeared on a hotel guest list.
The heavy security was a necessary and everybody in the Northridge traveling party clearly understood.
On Saturday night, President Obama hosted a gathering of the top leaders of the APEC member nations at a reception and dinner at a hotel near the team hotel. The event also provided a showcase of Hawaii's cultural heritage.
Meanwhile, the Matador team attended a traditional luau on Saturday night that featured such Hawaiian dishes like Lomi Lomi Salmon, Kalua Pig and Haupia.
Following dinner, the team returned to the hotel for Study Hall.
On Sunday, Cal State Northridge will begin in earnest its preparation for Monday night's (11/14/11) non-league game at the University of the Hawai'i on ESPN. Tipoff is slated for 11 p.m. (ht). The game will be aired live at 1 a.m. (pt) on Nov. 15.