Steve Prohm says there’s more to Tyrese Haliburton than being a wonderful basketball player
Des Moines Register
There are the iconic moments and images, like David Stern taunting a booing crowd or Jalen Rose’s red suit. It’s Joel Embiid’s expressionless face after getting selected by the 76ers or Kobe Bryant wearing a Charlotte hat and never a Hornets jersey.
NBA draft night provides so much entertainment, both in the moment and in retrospect, but it’s a coming of age event for those that participate. A high school or college graduation, only much cooler and certainly more lucrative.
To shake the commissioner’s hand and don the hat of the franchise that is making your dream come true is something that every hooper with pro aspirations covets.
It’s also a moment that may not be available to the NBA draft class of 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic potentially may force the league to a remote and virtual draft.
“Obviously, like anybody else, there are always those once-in-a-lifetime opportunities and playing in the NBA is that,” former Iowa State star and potential top-five pick Tyrese Haliburton told the Ames Tribune, “but you’ll play in so many games. You only get to shake Adam Silver’s hand and put the hat on one time.
“Obviously it’s an unfortunate situation, but life could be a lot worse.”
In almost any other year, Haliburton would likely be in Las Vegas, Los Angeles or Phoenix, working out in state-of-the art training facilities that are the favorites of draft hopefuls. Instead, he’s in Milwaukee, about 90 miles south of his hometown of Oshkosh, Wisconsin.
“I know some people who know some people so I have access to things I need access to. I’m able to train and stay in shape,” Haliburton said. “I’m blessed and fortunate enough to have that now. I know other people don’t have that.
“For a while, I was like everyone else and didn’t have anywhere to go. It’s really nice to have places to go and be able to put in a lot of work and preparing for whenever the time comes.”
Haliburton finds himself with a likely ceiling in the top-five and a floor unlikely to drop past the lottery after growing from a little-known three-star recruit to one of college basketball’s best at ISU. He averaged 15.2 points, 5.9 rebounds and 6.5 assists while shooting 50.2% from the field and 41.9% from 3-point range until a broken wrist ended his sophomore season in February.
“People asked me, ‘Is that him, when he’s injured on the bench, cheering and continuing to help lead?’” ISU coach Steve Prohm said, “and I was like, ‘Yeah.’
“People don’t realize, that’s what NBA scouts really saw from him from Day 1. That year, (2018-)2019, we had a really good team and we had a lot of pieces, but I think the reason Tyrese jumped off the page at all those guys is because of his infectious personality and the way he impacted winning and the way he impacted people.”
Now, Haliburton, who said his wrist is now almost fully healed, is biding his time training for an NBA draft with an uncertain date. The league has already postponed the lottery and combine that were scheduled for this month, making it seem likely the draft will occur later than the June date where it historically has been held.
“We’re just kind of waiting to see what the NBA does,” Haliburton said. “It just depends on the NBA, how they want to finish their year. All us basketball fans want them to finish the year. Hopefully, it’s something they can accomplish.
“At the end of the day, being able to play in the NBA is the ultimate dream so however I can do that, I’m cool with. There are people who don’t know what goes on after coronavirus calms down. At least I have something to look forward to. That’s a plus.”
Source: Des Moines Register