Obama surprises US Olympic basketball team, says he’s ‘pretty confident’ they will win gold in Paris

July 11, 2024
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Former President Obama made a surprise appearance at USA Basketball’s 50th anniversary party on Tuesday night, where he was all smiles among the players heading to Paris to represent the United States in this year’s Olympics and more. 

Obama delivered a 10-minute speech during his appearance, reminding everyone just how much of a basketball fan he is. 

With the Olympic roster behind him, Obama said he believes that Team USA will come home with a gold medal in basketball

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Barack Obama sits courtside

Former President Obama attends an exhibition game between Canada and the United States ahead of the Paris Olympic Games at T-Mobile Arena on July 10, 2024 in Las Vegas. (Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

“I just want to come here to obviously send off the soon-to-be gold-medal winners,” Obama said, via USA Today.

“I’m pretty confident that they’re going to be bringing back the gold and representing us the way we should be represented around the world.”

Obama also recognized all the legends and those who have impacted USA Basketball over the past five decades in his speech. 

VICE PRESIDENT KAMALA HARRIS ENCOURAGES US MEN’S BASKETBALL TO ‘BRING BACK THE GOLD’ AS PARIS OLYMPICS LOOM

Hall of Famers, former Olympians and others were present for the party, including Carmelo Anthony, Spencer Haywood, Cheryl Miller, Dawn Staley, Dwyane Wade, Sheryl Swoopes and Patrick Ewing. 

Obama was also sitting courtside for Team USA’s exhibition game against Canada, which the Stars and Stripes won, 86-72. Minnesota Timberwolves star Anthony Edwards led the pack in points with 13 after going 6-of-10 from the field off the bench. 

Steph Curry also had 12 points, while Jrue Holiday dropped 11 as well. 

Curry was among those that loved seeing Obama in attendance for the game. 

Barack Obama points at Spencer Haywood

Basketball Hall of Fame member Spencer Haywood, left, talks with former President Obama in the second half of an exhibition game between Canada and the United States ahead of the Paris Olympic Games at T-Mobile Arena on July 10, 2024 in Las Vegas. (Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

“To have President Obama come – and he’s great with the microphone and really inspiring with his words – it was cool to set us off into this journey this summer with celebrating the 50 years of USAB and what we’re trying to do this summer,” Steph Curry said, via USA TODAY. “So, I got goosebumps while he was talking.”

Obama was not the only politician looking to send off Team USA, as Vice President Kamala Harris also briefly visited the squad at their practice on UNLV’s campus in Las Vegas. 

Just like Obama, Harris believes this group has what it takes to win it all in Paris. 

“Bring back the gold,” she addressed the team. 

Barack Obama walks on court

Former President Obama attends an exhibition game between Canada and the United States ahead of the Paris Olympic Games at T-Mobile Arena on July 10, 2024 in Las Vegas. The United States defeated Canada 86-72. (Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

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Team USA still has a few showcase games on their schedule before Olympic contests begin later this month. Their next game comes on July 15 against Australia in Abu Dhabi.

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