Washington fans are learning first-year coach Mike Hopkins always has a story for something. This one is about how he has a connection to Meek Mill.
All this started when a reporter asked juniors Dominic Green and Matisse Thybulle about Hopkins’ music choices. Hopkins is known to a die-hard Pearl Jam fan who will talk at length about his favorite band.
His players, however, aren’t so fond of the Seattle-based Rock and Roll Hall of Famers.
“No Pearl Jam for us,” Thybulle said. “He listens to everything. He’s shown me Future songs.”
Green chimed in by saying, “he listens to stuff that you wouldn’t think.”
Hopkins was then asked if he listens to hip-hop because he likes it or as a way of relating to his players.
“I just love music. I love inspirational music. Dion Waiters was really close with Meek Mill,” Hopkins said. “He came to do one of our Midnight Madness’ before when he did ‘Dreamchasers’ way back in the day.”
You read that right. Meek Mill did perform at Syracuse’s March Madness. In fact, the Orange have had numerous acts including Wale play the event.
Waiters, a former star guard at Syracuse, is childhood friends with Mill from when they grew up together in Philadelphia.
A quick Google search shows numerous videos from driving in Rolls Royce’s to gambling on a private jet.
“I love art. I love people that are passionate about what they do,” Hopkins said. “At the end of the day, I’m 48 going on 18 and the greatest thing about coaching is I wear a sweatsuit, I work out, get to coach young kids and try to help make their dreams come true.
“It’s that, ‘Do I really have a job?’ type of deal.”
Hopkins then told a reporter, “It’s like your art. You get to tell a story.”
The reporter quipped, “But we don’t hang out with Meek Mill, though.”
And this is where Hopkins tells the story of how one night he was with Meek and his manager Hopkins at Batcave Studio in Philadelphia.
Meeting Mill was a big deal for Hopkins. After all, both he and his now 16-year-old son, Griff, listen to Mill together.
“The clean version,” Hopkins said with a giant grin.
Hopkins told Mill and his manager that both he and his son are big fans of his music. Meek told Hopkins to put his son on the phone.
But it was at 10:30 p.m.
“I’m like, ‘Honey, get Griff up.’ She said, ‘he’s sleeping honey. He’s got school tomorrow morning.’ I said, ‘You gotta get him up. You gotta get him up. I got somebody on the phone for him,’” Hopkins recalled. “She goes and gets him, he’s groggy and gets to the phone and I give it to (Mill) and he goes, ‘Hey Griff! Keep Dreamchasing! Do you know who this is?’
“He goes, ‘Meek Mill?’ and (Mill) goes, ‘Yes!’’ It was just really cool.”
Ryan S. Clark: @ryan_s_clark