The NBA Draft is being held this week, and one of the players participating in it this year is Kelly Oubre Jr. of Kansas. He elaborated on his Christian faith in a press conference before the event.
In an exclusive video obtained by the Gospel Herald, Oubre fielded questions both about his NBA Draft prospects and on his Christian faith. The video starts out with him making a comment about the Sacramento Kings.
"They have a lot of good shooting guys and they're developing their guys," Oubre said of the Kings. "I believe that I can continue to get along with those people and play with somebody like DeMarcus Cousins and help spread the floor out. I can also learn from Rudy Gay."
Oubre added that he would feel "lucky" if he had a chance to play for the Kings.
A reporter from off-camera highlighted that Oubre has moved around to different cities across the United States when he was younger; Oubre was in New Orleans when Hurricane Katrina struck in 2005. He asked the NBA draftee on how the experience of moving around and landing in Kansas has affected him.
"From the age of nine, I was always on the go," Oubre said. "Whether it was through basketball, whether it is legitimately moving to a different home, I've always been on the move. That kind of helped me out and helps me be a better young man because I could see different places and different environments."
Oubre explained how his personal experiences have shaped him.
"If it weren't for those situations, I wouldn't be here," Oubre said.
The reporter then asked Oubre if he had plans on finishing his college degree in Kansas.
"I definitely want to go back and finish my degree," Oubre said. "It's something I want to put maximum effort into getting. It will be a while before then because I have such a crazy schedule, but I definitely want to get that."
Oubre added that he would "want to reach out after I'm done playing basketball." The reporter then asked him what studies he would have pursued at university if he had the chance to complete his degree.
"Basketball brings me a lot of resources, so I don't really know right now," Oubre said. "But I do my work and keep my cool when I'm out. I can definitely get into something like on ESPN level or just be able to branch out and do whatever I want to do."
Oubre was then asked how his faith in God has affected his journey in both life and in the NBA Draft.
"I put God first. I pray every night," Oubre quipped. "I pray for strength and for guidance because it's a crazy world with the situation I'm going through. If I don't have God, I don't have anybody."
Oubre added that he "believed in that [concept] soundly."
"I'm blessed to be around that today," Oubre said. "It's all because of God."
A reporter turned the focus to Oubre's time in New Orleans. He asked the draftee what it was like leaving that city in the aftermath of Katrina.
"At nine years old, you don't really even think about not going back to your home city because you have friends," Oubre said of his time in the Crescent City. "I thought I was going to go back from the day we left. When my dad told we weren't going to go back, I was kind of shocked."
However, Oubre pointed out that his father kept the family's best interests in mind after making that decision to move out.
"He made me feel comfortable," Oubre said. "We made that move, and I stuck by my dad."
Oubre elaborated on his move from New Orleans to Houston.
"We were living in hotels," Oubre quipped. "We were living in our car for like a day or two, so we were moving around. It wasn't an easy time for us. My dad didn't have his job, and it was chaos."
Oubre emphasized that his family somehow survived that ordeal and "handled it well."
"I'm here today because of that," Oubre said. "If my dad didn't show me how strong he was in that situation, I would have never seen what a true soldier looks like."
Oubre then talked about his family life before New Orleans became drenched from Katrina.
"We had just moved into a house in New Orleans," Oubre said. "We were watching the news and they were saying the storm was going to be pretty bad. If you want to evacuate, that would be the smartest thing to do."
Oubre added that his dad had a bad feeling about Katrina. That gut feeling helped his family avoid the worst that happened in the aftermath of the infamous hurricane.
"The night before the storm, we packed our stuff and rolled out to Houston," Oubre said. "We got there the next morning and saw the news. It was crazy. We saw floods [and] bodies in the water floating. It is something I'll never forget."