Sure, Kobe Bryant was already scoring acclaim for his basketball prowess as a high-schooler, but when he was off the court, he was just another teen tired of lame cafeteria food.
On the latest episode of "When I Was 17," premiering Saturday at 11 a.m. ET, the NBA superstar recalls skipping class to stock up on some tasty eats.
"I had taken the bulk of my classes my first three years. So my senior year was a pretty easy year. Every day was senior cut day," he says. "We used to just talk in between breaks or in between periods. [We'd just say] 'You hungry?' 'Yeah, I'm hungry. Let's roll, let's go.' "
His friend Jermaine explained that they weren't hooligans; they just spent their free time on the hunt for junk food. "We didn't have anything else on the agenda. When we left, we just went to get food," he says.
Bryant added he and his crew would split immediately once the hunger pangs set in, saying, "They wouldn't see us no more."
"I was starving. I mean, c'mon, I was a buck-20. I needed to eat something. Cafeteria pizza ain't gonna cut it. It's just, like, prison food," he says. "We used to go to McDonald's, Taco Bell."
Jermaine adds, "When Kobe and I would skip school, you know, we were smooth."
Besides chowing down on whatever Dollar Menu items their heart desired, ditching class had an additional allure: "Think of how cool you are that you're not at school and everybody else is," Bryant smiles. "That's pretty much it."
"When I Was 17" — this week featuring Kobe Bryant, Brooklyn Decker and Candice Accola — premieres Saturday at 11 a.m. ET on MTV.