New Mexico forward Darington Hobson was having breakfast with the students who invited him to speak at "Lobo Day" at Albuquerque's St. Pius X High School earlier this week when one of them asked a question he probably he wasn't expecting.
"Would you be willing to do a dunk contest against me," senior Kaelan Brennan asked.
Sure enough, after Hobson addressed the student body on Wednesday morning, he called Brennan out of the crowd. Then the high school guard, Brennan, and future NBA draft pick, Hobson, went dunk for dunk to the delight of the senior's classmates.
Brennan wowed his peers by bouncing the ball off the floor and the backboard and finishing with a two-handed slam. Hobson one-upped him with a 360 alley-oop dunk and by leaping over another student for a one-handed jam.
"I was astonished he agreed to do it," Brennan said by phone on Thursday. "There were kids I rarely talk to coming up to me afterward thanking me and saying how awesome it was. It was pretty incredible."
Hobson was one of four New Mexico men's and women's basketball players who spoke to the students at St. Pius X about the importance of aiming high in both academics and athletics. In his speech, Hobson emphasized perseverance by sharing the details of his long, arduous journey to New Mexico, one that took him to five different schools in five years.
"He said it wasn't all fame and glory," Brennan said. "He definitely inspired us. You could see it in the students' faces."
As for the dunk contest, Brennan was willing to concede defeat.
"There was no declared winner," Brennan said. "But he probably beat me."