Kelly Oubre: 'Fear God' not just a tattoo, but a reminder 'to obey'

by Will Hall, |
Mar 20, 2015; Omaha, NE, USA; Kansas Jayhawks players including Landen Lucas (33) , Kelly Oubre Jr. (12) and Wayne Selden Jr. (1) celebrate from the bench against the New Mexico State Aggies during the first half in the second round of the 2015 NCAA Tournament at CenturyLink Center. | REUTERS/Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

NEW ORLEANS (Christian Examiner) -- Kelly Oubre is a freshman hardwood phenomenon for the Kansas University basketball team and was instrumental in the Jayhawks' 27-9 record for 2014-15. But he also has a story to tell about life, a story he has inked on both arms.

In an interview with the Kansas City Star, Oubre explained the artwork on his right arm was a tribute to New Orleans, his boyhood home until Hurricane Katrina displaced his family to Houston. That tattoo sleeve includes "street cars, jazz players, the state bird is a pelican and an Indian," he said, adding how these describe elements of the city's history. "It has the latitudinal and longitudinal points on there."

"It has an alligator and the Superdome and a cathedral," he added.

But the left arm is dedicated to his spiritual side, he said.

It is centered on an image of Jesus being resurrected and "has a basketball with hands and says, 'I do it for God" for He is my Savior," Oubre declared.

And when he raises both arms above his head, the word "FEAR" is visible on the right and "GOD" on the left.

"Fearing God, knowing He has your back no matter what, and just being able to obey Him -- that's the most important thing in my life," he said.

When asked how much consideration he had given the tattoo, he said "a lot of thought" went into the design of it.

"I mean it was definitely something that I was always wanted to get," he said, "because it was a message I got in church one day."

He explained that his Dad had urged him to make good decisions, and when it came to tattoos, get ones "that you know you won't regret."

Kansas routed number 15 seed New Mexico State University, 75-56, in the first round of the NCAA basketball tourney. But the number two seed Jayhawks fell to the seventh seed Shockers of Wichita State University last night, 78-65.

Oubre scored nine points in the losing effort, including three field goals and three foul shots. He also pulled down five rebounds before fouling out with a little more than a minute and a half left -- after contributing for 23 minutes during the game.