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Monday, June 17
The Indiana Daily Student

sports

Haston selected 16th by Charlotte

Former Hoosier star selected in middle of the 1st round draft

Nearly a hundred aspiring NBA athletes discovered Wednesday night the direction their lives would take, as all 29 NBA teams made their selections in the 2001 draft in New York City. The lottery picks walked on the stage sporting their new teams' hats and shook the hand of NBA commissioner David Stern, welcoming them into the league. First-team All-Big Ten Kirk Haston was not one of them.\nEven though Haston didn't get to met Stern, the former IU men's basketball star was selected with the 16th overall pick by the Charlotte Hornets, officially entering into the newest stage of his career: a professional one.\nHaston made his NBA intentions known April 30 but decided to not to hire an agent to leave open the possibly of a return to the cream and crimson. Haston then made his way to the Moody Bible College in Chicago to participate in the NBA pre-draft camp with other wanna-be professional basketball players.\nHaston turned heads with his camp performance averaging 11.7 points and 5.3 rebounds during the three days of scrimmaging. His camp performance was good enough for him to make his way into the first round of several experts mock draft, including ESPN basketball analyst Andy Katz.\n"I was surprised," Katz said of Haston's improvement. Katz also said before the draft that if Haston didn't get selected in the second round, the pressure would have been on the 6-9 power forward.\n"(Haston) would be on the roster next year (if he's picked in the second round), but no more than one year -- two years at most," Katz said.\nHaston made his NBA dreams official June 15 when he announced he was going to remain in the draft and has since hired David Bowers as his agent. At his Assembly Hall press conference, Haston said the fact he is a proven college player, unlike the prep stars that have entered the draft, will help his chances in the draft.\n"I think that it's scary how much depends upon potential now instead of production," Haston said. "I read a quote (former Duke player Shane) Battier made, and I thought it was really good, as far as these high school kids. They're kind of like IPOs (Initial Public Offerings). They have possibilities of bringing great rewards, but they can also bottom out at any second, and he considered himself a blue-chip stock that was going to be more like a General Motors and going to get consistently better every year."\nEven though three of the first four picks were high school players and Battier was picked sixth, Haston still made it into the first round -- several picks away from a lottery selection -- and a guaranteed contract from the Hornets. \nChief talent scout for the Indiana Pacers Al Menendez said Haston's shooting abilities made him noticeable to NBA squads.\n"He has a great hook shot," Menendez said. "It's the best one I've seen since (Kareem Abdul) Jabar."\nHaston said he has performed well enough to make a difference on the defensive end as well as on the offensive.\n"I don't think anyone ever reaches their full potential in quickness and strength, and that's something that was a knock when I first got to IU, that I wasn't going to be able to play in the Big Ten," Haston said. "If I have any critics right now that they're saying about playing in the next level. That's something that I continue to work on and improve on."\nBut it is too early to tell if Haston can improve enough to compete with the likes of Karl Malone and Scottie Pippen. Associate head coach John Treloar isn't even sure how Haston will perform when he reaches the next level.\n"I think only time will tell," Treloar said. "This camp that he went to in Chicago was against college players and next October he starts against NBA veteran players -- then at that point we're going to find out what position he's going to play"

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