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WASHINGTON (AP) _ President Bush welcomed the WNBA champion Houston Comets to the White House on Monday, congratulating the team on four straight titles and praising them for community outreach efforts at home.

``One of the great things about the Comets is that you've proven that you're some of the greatest athletes in the world, but also some of the greatest people in the world,'' Bush said in an East Room ceremony.

``I'm also mindful that those of us in positions of responsibility must uphold the responsibility with dignity and class, and this franchise has done that,'' Bush said.

He cited the team's volunteer efforts in Houston helping cancer patients and counseling young people.

``For that, I'm grateful,'' Bush told the team, which has won the championship in each of the league's four years of existence.

``Congratulations on returning, and I suspect I'll see you here next year,'' he said.