Obama Slams Hoop Dreams for High School Diplomas

ABC News' Sunlen Miller Reports: Barack Obama took a "tough love" message to African American youth, telling that finishing high school is a better route to success in life than an unlikely trip to the NBA or the top of the rap industry."You are probably not that good a rapper. Maybe you are the next Lil' Wayne, but probably not, in which case you need to stay in school," Obama, D-Ill., told a cheering crowd, brought to a standing ovation at a town hall meeting in Powder Springs, Georgia.The presumptive Democratic nominee was speaking about high school drop out rates and the need for people to be committed to working hard in school so they can get a job after school.Obama said he knows some young men think they can't find a job unless they are a really good basketball player."Which most of you brothas are not," Obama, who played basketball in high school, a sport he continues to play to this day, said jokingly. "I know you think you are, but you're not. You are over-rated in your own mind. You will not play in the NBA."Obama, who will be the first African American presidential nominee of a major party when he accepts the Democratic nomination on August 28, 2008, in Denver, spoke to a predominantly black audience at the Georgia event. The candidate regularly voices a "tough love" message in front of all groups –- telling parents to turn off the video games, get off the sofa, and if their child is in trouble in school to "not cuss out the teacher."The town hall marks Obama's first visit to Georgia -- a state not won by a Democratic presidential candidate since then-Gov. Bill Clinton's win in 1992 -- in the general election campaign.  Speculation has also surrounded former Sen. Sam Nunn, D-Ga., a potential Obama vice presidential pick that could help put the Peach State in play.Obama's visit is part of the campaign's week-long effort to campaign in so-called "red states" that have favored Republicans in recent elections and, presumably, also lean toward his Republican rival, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. The Democratic contender's red state swing heads to Virginia -- home to, among others, Sen. Jim Webb, D-Va., who took himself out of the running mate stakes -- and Ohio -- which played a critical role in President George W. Bush's 2004 victory over Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., later this week.

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