International slam dunk champ inspires students

YUMA, Ariz. – Hundreds of students at Castle Dome Middle School were inspired by a former NBA player and international slam dunk champion.

Kenny Dobbs says despite being known as a international slam dunk champion, the road to success wasn’t easy. That’s why he hopes to inspire local students using the Kids at Hope initiative.

“Man it means the most to me to be able to inspire these kids out here. I mean there is not an amount of money that can really satisfy that need of being able to inspire kids and impact their lives you know,” said Dobbs.

Dobbs says in the past he would party hard and do drugs, but after a run-in with the law, he’s since changed his ways. Now Dobbs wants to be an example so others don’t have to learn the hard way.

“No matter where I go I always make time to be able to inspire others. You know we filmed all this week and here I am today the first day off I got and we’re out here in Yuma inspiring the kids here. There’s always a way to make time and be able to inspire the community,” said Dobbs.

Dobbs talked to students Monday, using basketball as a way to break the ice and share his story.

“I learned that to never really give up keep pursuing what your doing. Don’t make bad decisions, don’t hang out with the bad friends or bad influences. Do what you want to do, go with your dreams and set goals,” Eighth grader Heath McLeod said.

The guest speaker urged kids to stay in school and avoid a life of crime. After words of encouragement, Dobbs left at least one future baller inspired.

“Well I’ve been playing basketball ever since I was six. So I learned to like follow my dreams and don’t let anyone come between them and no matter what happens always choose the right people,” Eighth grader Kiyah Steward said.

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About The Author

Denelle Confair graduated with her Bachelors from Arizona State University Walter Cronkite School of Broadcast and Mass Communication. She got her first on air reporter job for the NBC affiliate in Montana. After her time there she reported for the NBC affiliate in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas. In Texas she covered multiple stories on the Gulf Cartel and immigration. Now she says she's glad to be back in her home state of Arizona. In her free time she enjoys hiking and writing. For story ideas you can email her at or find her on Facebook.

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