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Lobo hoops notebook: Ex-Lobos prepping for NBA draft

Not that it’s exactly been fun and games the past two months for Cameron Bairstow, Kendall Williams and Alex Kirk, but this week is when the NBA draft hopes of the three former Lobos really start to get serious.

All three former University of New Mexico basketball stars were invited to the NBA Draft Combine in Chicago earlier this month, making UNM one of three schools in the country with three participants in the invitation-only, 60-player workout.

This week, all begin the rigorous final home stretch before the June 26 draft, with pre-arranged workouts for various NBA teams that have specific interest in the players.

Williams, the 6-4 guard from California, already got the ball rolling with team workouts on Sunday when he was part of a four-man group invited to perform in front of the Philadelphia 76ers.

It went well, he told the Journal , but there is little time to think too much about workouts already completed.

“Got to move on to the next one and get better,” Williams wrote in a text message.

Next up for the Williams is a workout with the Atlanta Hawks on Thursday. In all, Williams and his agent, Sam Goldfeder of Excel Sports Management, say the former Lobo will have at least 10 team workouts in the next few weeks.

“They’re intrigued by his size, his speed and his defense,” Goldfeder said.

Kirk flies to Chicago today for a workout with the Bulls, has one with the Indiana Pacers on Thursday and then the 76ers on Saturday.

“The feedback from the combine we got was really positive about how in shape he (Kirk) looked with his losing 13 pounds since he started training at the IMG Academy (in Florida) four or five weeks ago,” said Kirk’s agent, Graham Boone of Tandem Sports and Entertainment.

Kirk and Boone both said a remeasurement of his 6-10¾ height at the combine put him at taller than 6-11.

“We aren’t worried about his height at all,” Boone said. “Given his wingspan (7-3½) and other measurements, we were really happy with the response we got with his performance in Chicago.”

Bairstow, who has primarily trained in Albuquerque with some brief workout trips to Los Angeles and Las Vegas, Nev., in the past couple months, will work out with Atlanta on Thursday and Chicago on Friday.

His height of 6-9¾ and wingspan – just north of 7 feet at the combine – bode well for the Aussie.

NBA teams are also getting their first opportunities to talk in depth with the former Lobos at these workouts.

Kirk said among the off-the-wall questions he was asked by NBA teams this time of year was to name three people – alive, dead or fantasy – he would like to have dinner with.

Kirk said he has narrowed in on Jesus, Zeus and either Martin Luther King Jr., Sir Isaac Newton or Albert Einstein.

FIRE BURNS EX-LOBOS: A team of former Lobos including J.R. Giddens, Dairese Gary, Philip McDonald and others lost two games Monday afternoon in UNM’s Johnson Gym to lose out on capturing the 2014 New Mexico Games men’s open division title.

The Fire’s winning roster included Marcus Williams, Mike Dominguez, Roman Andrade, Derek Freeman, Xavier Blount, Will Bynum, Frank Benson and Matt Peeler.

LOBO LINKS: Geoff Grammer’s blog | Schedule/Results | Roster