Obama surprises student athletes in Chicago, gives them advice

It was a huge surprise for student athletes from three South Side schools. The chance to meet and play basketball with the 44th President of the United States.

"It kinda just caught me off guard, I was speechless," said 8th grader Maxwell Warner.

"The whole experience seeing Barack, I was so happy and shocked," said 8th grader London Roman.

Obama returned home for meetings regarding his presidential library currently under construction in Jackson Park. He told the group of kids he had to stop by to encourage them.

The president said the South Side YMCA was a safe haven for his own daughters years ago.

"We use to have birthday parties here. We use to occasionally shoot some hoops, we used to bring our girls here when they were itty bitty things," Obama said.

Obama spent about 30 minutes engaging with students and hearing about their passions. Of course, he couldn’t leave without showing off his own hooping skills as well.


Beyond the meet and greet, students said they received priceless advice — advice they may have heard before. However, this time, it holds more weight.

"He told us, 'keep going, keep going, do what you love, be strong,'" Warner said.

Another student said with Barack saying it, "it’s really sticking with me now."