Ahead of the NBA 2020 Rising All-Star challenge, the Atlanta Hawks star Trae Young, Dallas Mavericks star Luka Doncic and New Orleans Pelicans rookie Zion Williamson were in for a huge surprise. The trio got a chance to meet former US President Barack Obama during an NBA Cares event. Williamson amongst the three was virtually nervous at getting this opportunity.
During the NBA Cares event, NBA players from the USA and World teams put on red T-shirts and assisted young students from local schools in filling 500 backpacks with coloured pencils, markers, notebooks and other school supplies for under-resourced students and teachers. As the work continued, Barack Obama came inside and took the time to introduce himself to every player, student and volunteer in attendance. Obama then made his way to Zion Williamson and Trae Young, who were besides each other while handing out backpacks.
Luka Doncic recalled what Barack Obama said after he approached him for a handshake. In a press conference, the Dallas Mavericks star said that Obama told him that he was doing a fantastic job, which inspired him. He furthur said that the former US President hit a punchline stating that 'Don't hoot like Jason Kid!'.
Mavericks’ Luka Doncic on his visit with President Barack Obama: “He said I did a fantastic job, which inspired me, and he said, ‘Don’t shoot like [Jason] Kidd.’” pic.twitter.com/0gUfEMtIXS— Ben Golliver (@BenGolliver) February 15, 2020
Speaking about meeting former US President Barack Obama, Trae Young said that it was crazy being able to stand next to him and talk to him. He said that Obama basically knew everything about his season, his game and he was just like a regular person, which was crazy.
Zion Williamson was also left stunned when Obama started to speak of his recent stats in Pelicans games. Williamson said that the former President even recalled specific plays from his year, playing for Duke. He said Obama admired his play after which he got 'zoned out'. He also said that that was all he needed to hear.
Barack Obama is scheduled to host a conversation with several top NBA players on Saturday and it is expected that he could appear at Sunday’s All-Star Game as well. Obama was at the event for more than a half an hour, spending the biggest chunk of that time manning a table alongside Williamson and Young.