OSHKOSH, Wis. (WFRV) – “I don’t really have the words to kind of describe it to you, but it’s truly an honor,” Tyrese Haliburton said.
Oshkosh native Tyrese Haliburton took the next step in his basketball career, in a year unlike any other.
“I’m also a part of history because who knows how this draft is really going to work out,” the Iowa State point guard said. “Whether we’re in New York or it’s all done virtually, like you never know, so it’ll be a pretty cool experience.”
Haliburton declared for the NBA Draft on March 24, forgoing the final two years of his college career at Iowa State to turn pro.
“When I got home from the Big 12 tournament, we were able to sit down as family and come to that decision,” Haliburton said. “Being able to kind of tell the world, and let my friends know… it’s cool that I’m closer to my dream.”
The former three-star recruit is already being touted as a potential NBA lottery pick. This, even after Haliburton suffered a season-ending wrist injury back in Feburary. He was cleared to shoot a basketball just a few weeks ago.
“I should be good in 4-6 weeks to where I can fully get going,” Haliburton said.
Haliburton took Iowa State by storm his freshman year and accomplished a lot in his 18 months on campus. The point guard averaged 15.2 points in the 22 games he played.
“Coach (Steve) Prohm had a lot of trust in me,” Haliburton said. “I mean, I just give a lot of credit to the people that I was surrounded with, (which includes) my family, the way that I was raised.
“I like to find the hardest working person and try to outwork them, or work just as hard as them, so that’s just been how I was raised, and how I’ve been brought up.”
The 2018 Wisconsin Gatorade Player of the year led Oshkosh North to its first state title in program history his senior season. Through it all, Haliburton hasn’t lost sight of where he’s from. In just a few months, he could become the first NBA player to ever come out of Oshkosh.
“(It means) the world,” Haliburton said. “Where I come from means a lot to me, so that’s big for me, but at the same time I hope I’m not the last. I hope I inspire a lot of kids to do the same thing even outside the basketball world, to inspire people to chase their dreams in whatever that is.
“My biggest goal is just to have an impact on as many people as I can, whether that’s in the basketball world or just in life.”
So now as Haliburton quarantines at home in Oshkosh, participating in the stay-at-home orders like the rest of Wisconsin, he’s just waiting for whenever the NBA Draft does begin.
“I couldn’t write a better story,” Haliburton said. “This is everything that I’ve ever dreamed of. You know, the ultimate goal is always to win at every level.
“I won a state championship in high school, was able to win a Big 12 championship in college, and then we’ll see what happens in the NBA. I just want to be known as a winner, and I think I’ve laid the ground work. Now, I got to keep building toward that.”
Haliburton could join the likes of Sam Dekker, Travis Diener and Tony Bennett as players from Northeast Wisconsin taken in the NBA Draft.
The NBA Draft is currently scheduled to start on June 25.