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Friday, June 21
The Indiana Daily Student


A plea from a Hoosier Basketball fan

He is set to make his decision Friday, a decision that will have an affect on his life for years to come. Should he officially announce his entry into the NBA draft and sign with an agent, thus ending his college basketball career, or should he announce that he changed his mind and wants to stick around for one last year?\nKirk Haston has a decision that is more difficult than any I have had to make in recent memory. My decisions typically break down to what beer to buy, but his decision has to do with his career. Haston is going to have a NBA career, most experts agree on that one. In all likelihood, he would be drafted in either the first or second round should he decide to forego his senior year here at IU. Yet, as a fan of IU basketball, I have one selfish request for Haston before he leaves here: stay one more year.\nI know you don't get paid to play here, and you have potentially millions awaiting you in the NBA, but I think you need to weigh the options of your decision. In fact, choosing to stay could actually help you out next year in the draft. \nAs it stands right now, some mock drafts have you going in the late first or early second round, to such stellar basketball talent like the Vancouver Grizzlies. Have you ever seen these guys play? It's not pretty. Heck, their best player isn't all that interested in sticking around. Is it worth a million a year to win as many games as IU, but lose about 5 times as many? \nSecondly, you need to think about all that you are leaving behind. The upcoming basketball season could be one of the best in recent Hoosier history. Not a single senior graduated -- with only Andre Owens transferring out. You would be returning to a team you know well, and what a team it is. From Big Ten Freshman of the Year Jared Jeffries to the shot-blocking prowess of Jeff Newton, the sharpshooting eye of Tom Coverdale and the gritty defensive ability of Dane Fife -- this is a team that could seriously contend for the Big Ten crown, and maybe even more. Wouldn't it be great to be the leader of the first IU basketball team to make it to the Final Four in ten years?\nFinally, you yourself stand to prosper in ways other than team success. If you returned, you could be National Player of the Year, which would do wonders for your resume and NBA draftability. Also, most experts see you as more of a small forward type player when you make it to the big time, so one more year could give you more chance to work on your outside shot as well as defense, the two areas people think you need to work on the most. So, doing all that could move you up in that draft, and higher draft position means more money. \n If you have any questions about staying or going, just talk to Shane Battier. He stuck around for a senior season, won National Player of the Year as well as the National Championship. He would probably tell you staying all four years works out pretty well.\nSo, as an IU student and also an IU basketball fan, I have one request for you Kirk. We've cheered you on through the years, watching you get better and better, with all the highs, such as the three-pointer to beat Michigan State at home, as well as the lows, losing in the first round of the NCAA tournament the past two years. We'd love to have one more season of you in the cream and crimson to root you on to victory. Please stay.

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