June 26, 2007
IOWA CITY – Iowa senior basketball player Adam Haluska wasn’t done traveling and playing basketball when Iowa’s 2006-07 season came to an end in the Big Ten Tournament. In some ways, it was a new beginning. A new beginning to a career that takes another turn on June 28, the date of the NBA Draft.
Haluska, a native of Carroll, IA, led the Big Ten Conference in scoring this past season while leading the Hawkeyes to a 17-14 overall record. He was a first team all-Big Ten selection and earned honorable mention recognition from the Associated Press. More importantly, he was named academic all-American of the year for men’s Division I basketball.
All of that didn’t seem to matter as his “new” basketball life began in late March. First it was a trip to Atlanta, GA, site of the NCAA Final Four, where he would participate in a three-point shooting contest one night and the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) all-star game two nights later.
After a short break, it was off to Portsmouth, VA during the Easter break, to compete in the Portsmouth Invitational with some of the top seniors from around the nation. From there he returned to Iowa City to finish up his class work and bring his college career to an end.
Since completing his educational requirements, Haluska has spent a lot of time away from the comforts of home. He spent nearly two months in the Los Angeles area, working out daily for “Impact Basketball”, preparing in everyway possible for the upcoming draft.
“I’ve traveled a lot over the last two to three weeks. Teams will fly you in to their city the day before you would meet. The following day you would meet coaches and staff members, then work out there for an hour or two. With flight cancellations and delays, it can be tiring.”
“We would workout three times a day,” said Haluska, in describing the daily regiment that he and the other seniors from around the country would go through. “One of the workouts would be in the weight room. The court workouts covered drills that would prepare you for working out for the individual NBA teams. It was basically to prepare you to present yourself when being interviewed and tested by the teams. There were college guys there, NBA guys and a number of foreign players as well.”
Throughout most of June Haluska traveled across the country, basically from coast to coast to spend time in the cities of a number of NBA teams.
“I’ve traveled a lot over the last two to three weeks,” he admitted. “Teams will fly you in to their city the day before you would meet. The following day you would meet coaches and staff members, then work out there for an hour or two. With flight cancellations and delays, it can be tiring.
“It was a good way to get some insight on the draft position and specific needs of different teams,” he added. “I think it was good for me. I was able to show all the dimensions of my game; using my athleticism to show that I can be more than a shooter.”
While he hasn’t received any straight answers heading into the draft, he feels he has a better understanding of the process.
“You find out that going into the draft, even the teams don’t really know how things are going to go,” noted Haluska. “A lot depends on early picks, trades that might be made, the number of foreign players selected and things that happen as the draft progresses. There are a lot of things that can change on draft day. Because of that, no one tips their hand.”
The NBA Draft includes just two rounds as a total of 60 players are selected. First round selections are guaranteed contracts but second round selections have to earn their keep.
“A second round pick has to earn his way just like a free agent,” pointed out Haluska. “Some teams will talk about that approach. Being a free agent is not really a bad thing; it gives you a chance to pick a team that might be the best fit.”
With that in mind, Haluska is approaching the draft with an open mind.
“If I am not selected,” he said, “I’ll have plenty of options after that. I’ll be back in Iowa by Thursday, spending time with family, but we won’t be watching the draft.”
He’s had plenty of interest, visiting a lot of teams over the last three weeks. He had two visits scheduled in the final days before the draft as teams and players try to find out as much information as possible on available players.
Drafted or not, his schedule will not slow down anytime soon. As a draft choice or a free agent, there will be camp to attend and summer league action during July. Veteran camp takes place in late September or early October as NBA teams finalize their rosters.
“Probably by the day or two after the draft I’ll know where I’ll be going,” he concluded. “It’s hard to predict ahead of time because so many things can change.”
Haluska’s busy schedule over the second half of the summer will include more than basketball. He’ll be getting married this summer as well, to Carroll native and longtime companion, Kendra Bengston.
Throughout his college career, Adam has taken care of business. From his play on the court, to his academic achievements, he’s well prepared for the future. What ever happens on Thursday, Adam Haluska likes his options.
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