The 44th President of The United States has always had a way with words, and his recent speech to a youth football team will likely to leave an impression on the crew of young players that will last a lifetime.
On Tuesday (June 1), Barack Obama surprised the Chicago Southside Wolfpack football team at Jackson Park. The excited young players took a knee as Obama, a former athlete himself, offered some encouraging thoughts on self-confidence and perseverance.
“Sometimes, you’re going to have some doubts.” Obama said. “Sometimes, you’re going to make mistakes. Sometimes, you won’t get what you want right away.”
In addition to the pep talk, Obama took photos with the kids and shook hands. The location where the Wolfpack holds practice is set for a major makeover: It will soon be home to the $500 million Obama Presidential Center, with construction set to begin later this year.
Obama’s love for sports dates back to childhood. In the late 1970s, he played on both the J.V. and varsity teams at Hawaii’s Punahou School, eventually winning a state championship in 1979.
According to Obama’s former coach, Chris McLachlin, the child who would go on to become president was dedicated to his coursework as well as his jumpshot.
“He would carry his books in one hand and his ball in the other,” he said. “He lived across the street from school and before classes he’d shoot baskets on the outside courts, then at lunch he’d shoot more baskets, then I’d have him for three hours, then he’d go home, eat supper, and then be outside again shooting baskets.”
Get Breaking News & Exclusive Contest in Your Inbox: