Xavier junior forward Justin Martin didn’t know who Aaron “The Hawk” Pryor was before Wednesday’s basketball practice, but he sure does now.

The International Boxing Hall of Famer and Cincinnati native stopped by Cintas Center at the behest of coach Chris Mack and offered a motivational speech for Musketeers players following a highlight video of his greatest fights.

Although Pryor’s rise to boxing fame preceded the births of XU’s players, they learned quite a bit about the former world junior welterweight champion and his approach to his craft.

“It was great. To be honest, I’ve never really met a boxer. To meet somebody who was as good as him – who went 39-1 in a professional career and 89 percent of those fights were knockouts – is crazy,” Martin said.

“You could hit him as many times as you wanted to but he would never quit. He was always getting up and coming right back at you. There were a few times in the clips where he got knocked down and got up so fast, the referee had to hold him back when he was still trying to swing at the other guy. That was his mentality.”

Mack referenced Pryor several weeks ago – before one of Xavier’s games – in order to provide perspective and motivation. He later looked up Pryor’s website, emailed the former boxer and “the next thing you knew, he was excited to spend some time with our team.”

It was a special treat for Mack, too.

“Growing up in the city of Cincinnati, who didn’t know Aaron Pryor and the relentlessness he displayed as a boxer? It was dominating,” Mack said. “I just remember his style. From the moment the bell rang it was always an attacking style. That’s how I want our teams to play.”

Pryor was accompanied by his son, fellow fighter Aaron Pryor Jr., and said it meant a lot to him for Xavier players to express interest in his life story. His legendary bouts with Alexis Arguello preceded retirement, addiction, recovery, a new outlook and ministerial work.

What he focused on at Xavier was his boxing mentality.

“I said every time was Hawk time. That means it was my time to do what I needed to do. I was very confident when I had done all my homework,” Pryor said. “If you’ve got a job to do, if you’re in a situation when you’re in one-on-one contact with somebody, it’s Hawk time. It’s your time to shine, your time to win.”