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Dominique Wilkins’ weight shot up to 273 pounds within several months of his retirement from pro basketball in 1999, and then things got worse: He was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, a condition that also had stricken his parents.

Gone were the days of hot dogs, hamburgers and other “terrible” fast foods he ate as an NBA road diet on his way to becoming No. 11 on the all-time scoring list, a prolific dunker and Hall of Famer.

Times have changed. He dropped nearly 40 pounds in the year after his diagnosis, and has kept it off with a combination of diet and exercise. “I’m close to my playing weight now,” the 53-year-old Atlanta Hawks vice president said during a visit to Buffalo this week, but “I’m not saying I’m coming back.” He shared his story locally, mostly with kids, courtesy of Independent Health.

What’s your favorite dinner now?

I like a lot of fish. I like red snapper. I love spinach. So I’ll have red snapper, spinach, asparagus and a nice, big salad.

What’s the food that’s hardest for you to resist?

Apple pie, pecan pie. I’m not saying you can’t have a slice. You just can’t have two, three, four slices. … I have done that, but you feel it the next day. You feel it before the next day.

– Scott Scanlon

On the Web: Find out who Dominique Wilkins thinks is the NBA’s greatest player at blogs.buffalonews.com/refresh