The Day Hopkins and Kobe Got After It In Practice

Dan Raley

Mike Hopkins answered a lot of basketball questions on Wednesday afternoon, and tried to put a positive spin on pulling his Washington team out of its doldrums before it faces Arizona the next night at home.

He talked about Jaden McDaniels. His fluctuating lineup. Being an underdog.  Stuff that will appear in another video here.

Yet after a dozen minutes of purely positive banter about the Huskies and how they're trying to overcome their struggles, the effervescent Hopkins was asked for and shared a Kobe Bryant story.

Hopkins became even more animated as he told of meeting the superstar player, who was tragically killed in a helicopter crash over the weekend, when both were affiliated with the U.S. national team.

At the end of a practice, Bryant, after watching Hopkins work out other players, asked him to put him through the same paces. Hopkins guarded him. They chided each other. 

Bryant asked Hopkins if he had seen YouTube, as if the coach didn't actually know who he was.  

Hopkins had a ready answer for this high-level NBA player, knowing Kobe had no clue who he was.

"Don't you know I'm the best Caucasian defender in the Big East?" the coach fired back. 

Their session went on for 90 minutes, with people watching and taking photos. Bryant walked away dripping in sweat. Hopkins got a memory hard to top. 

"I was my greatest moment in basketball," Hopkins said. "I was with a legend."

Listen to the video and hear about their heartfelt moment. 

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Dan Raley