President Barack Obama and Steph Curry Become Oakland's Dream Team For a Night

By Carrie Hodousek, KCBS Radio

February 20, 2019
Former President Barack Obama and Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (Photo credit: Carrie Hodousek/KCBS Radio)

(Photo credit: Carrie Hodousek/KCBS Radio)

OAKLAND (KCBS RADIO) — Former President Barack Obama and Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry combined forces to deliver an encouraging message to young men of color at an event on Tuesday. 

Obama and Curry went one-on-one in a conversation that covered their upbringings and outlook on life. The event at the Scottish Rite Center was put on through Obama's My Brother's Keeper Alliance, a five-year-old venture. 

"I did not grow up and become the person I am until I was less focused on me and I was more focused on 'How can I be useful? Who could I help?'" said Obama. 

It was not easy to develop such an open-minded attitude, Obama said. He was an angry teenager, he said, but it was only later when he realized what had hurt him. 

"I did not have a sense of purpose or a clear sense of direction through a big chunk of my high school years," said Obama. "In retrospect, I recognize some of it was that I was angry about my father not being there.

Obama urged people to take a sincere interest in the lives of others around them. 

"It turns out that if you just give somebody some attention and say 'You know what, you matter. How you doing? How are you thinking about your next steps? Do you really think that's the best thing to do?'" Obama said. "People respond to that."

There were lighthearted moments, as Obama introduced himself as "Michelle's husband," and said the audience knew the NBA star joining him on stage as Ayesha Curry's spouse. Singer John Legend performed earlier in the event too. 

The partnering of Obama and Curry had created a buzz around the Bay Area. On Monday night, they were spotted dining together in International Smoke, a restaurant started by Curry's wife and chef Michael Mina in San Francisco's SOMA neighborhood. 

When Curry spoke, he talked about trying to make a positive impression on the people that he meets or who are only aware of him through the media. 

"We all have that opportunity to use that platform, that visibility to shape somebody's perspective and that one moment can be a difference maker for a lifetime," said Curry. " My willingness to try to meet people where they are can make a huge difference, whether it's five seconds, 10 minutes." 

Obama formed the alliance following the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, an unarmed black teenager, in Florida in 2012. Martin's mother Sybrina Fulton was one of the other featured speakers. 

"I want you to be educated. I want you to be strong," said Fulton. "I want you to be leaders and not followers."