Haston says timing right to head to NBA
Updated: Friday June 15, 2001 10:09 PM
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) -- As Kirk Haston sees it, the time is perfect for him to enter the NBA.
The third-team All-American, coming off a strong pre-draft camp in Chicago, announced Friday he would pass up his final year of eligibility at Indiana and remain in the June 27 NBA draft.
"I felt like going into this thing three or four years ago that if I was ever at this point it would take four key variables to figure into being able to do this," he said in a prepared statement.
Haston, a 6-foot-10 forward-center, is coming off a solid season in which he led the Hoosiers with 19.0 and 8.7 rebounds per game, ranking second in both categories in the Big Ten. He's confident he has the skills to play in the NBA. Finally, he's healthy and close to graduating.
"You can never guarantee that all four of those are going to be aligned just right," Haston said. "I think this is an excellent chance and an excellent time for me to do this."
Haston said the past year has been a strange one, and few around Indiana basketball would disagree. Bob Knight was fired, but Mike Davis stepped in as interim coach, kept most of the team intact and guided the Hoosiers to a 21-13 record.
And Haston emerged as a player ready for the NBA.
"If someone would have written a script like this and showed it to me, I would have laughed at them and told them to get out of the room, because I would have said this is not going to happen. But everything just kinda fell into place this year in an odd way," Haston said.
Haston, from Lobelville, Tenn., will be working out for several teams in the next two weeks, including Charlotte and Orlando.
With 1,406 career points, he ranks 17th on the Indiana all-time scoring list.
Davis issued a statement Thursday saying he supported Haston's decision. "Playing the NBA is a lifelong dream of any basketball player," it said.