An All-American wide receiver at USC, Curtis Conway became a first-round draft pick and spent a decade in the NFL. Recently, he married Laila Ali (boxing champ, "Dancing With the Stars" contestant and daughter of Muhammad Ali) and the couple are expecting their first child. I ran into Curtis at the 710 ESPN Southern California Sports Awards and caught up with him on life, love and football …
What’s been the best part of your marriage?
We’re a very positive couple. That’s what I enjoy more than anything. It’s her being a positive role model, myself being a positive role model, and wanting to give back to the community. Any time you can see a couple doing that, I think it speaks volumes.
Are you guys also compatible as athletes? Do you work out together?
When we met, she was training and I was training. It’s funny, people think that she’s just talented [because of her dad]. That girl works hard! When we work out together now she can’t work out as hard because she’s got the little one in the stomach.
How’d you meet?
There was a fight party at the house. A mutual friend brought her over.
I don’t remember. My eyes were on her!
What’s been the most exciting part of USC football for you lately?
I love what Pete Carroll has done. It definitely gives us something to look forward to, especially not having a pro team in L.A. Actually, I’ve never cheered for a pro football team in my life. I’ve always been a basketball fan. To watch USC play the way they’ve been playing, plus being a big Laker fan … those are the two teams I cheer for.
What’s been the best thing about being a Trojan?
Being able to meet some of the legends. At ‘SC, we’re a family there. When you get a chance to run across these guys, and they greet you with open arms, ‘SC really is a family — especially around football. You run into guys like Ronnie Lott, Marcus Allen, guys like that talk to you as if you’ve been their buddy all their life. That was just amazing to me.
What are you up to now?
I’m involved with USA Football. It’s an organization trying to teach youth football coaches the proper way of coaching and giving back to the community. I’m really excited to be a part of that because that’s where it all starts — with the youth. Any time that I can give back and be hands on, I definitely want to do that.
Image courtesy USC Athletics.