Haluska Shooting for NBA Dream

Former Iowa Guard Adam Haluska is trying to become the first Hawkeye drafted into the NBA since 1999. The Carroll, Iowa native has spent the last month in California working out with top talent and trainers. HN.com Senior Writer Rob Howe caught up with Haluska on Wednesday night to see how draft preparations are going and what he is hearing.

Chasing your dream can be tiring, just ask Adam Haluska.

The former Iowa guard has been working out in California for the last four weeks and plans on being there for another week or so. He gets started at 6 AM and goes for 12 hours a day through an intense basketball, nutrition, strength and conditioning program in hopes of landing an NBA job next month.

"There's not much down time," Haluska said Wednesday night from the West Coast.

Haluska is held up in the LA suburb of Carson, Calif. where he and other draft hopefuls work out at the Home Depot Center under the guidance of Athletes' Performance and Impact Basketball, run by Joe Abunassar. Athletes' Performance boasts Jamarcus Russell and Carl Crawford as clients and Impact claims Baron Davis and Chauncey Billups.

"We play a lot of 5-on-5 with a lot of different people," Haluska said. "There are guys hoping to get drafted, NBA guys and players from overseas. I definitely feel like I‘ve elevated my game. This is a different type of basketball in terms of how you move and there are a lot more ball screens. I‘m just working on my body and trying to get into the best shape of my life."

Two of the players at the facility are Joakim Noah and Corey Brewer from two-time defending NCAA champion Florida.

Haluska earned first-team all-Big Ten recognition last season after leading the league in scoring. Many draft analysts have projected him as a second-round pick in June's draft.

"It's really too early to tell," Haluska said. "A lot will be decided in the individual workouts with teams. I need to make sure that I can make the NBA 3 consistently because that will be my role."

Haluska participated in the Portsmouth Invitational Camp in early April. DraftExpress.com called Haluska one of the better players at Portsmouth and one of the rising names in the draft.

"I think I played well and showed my strengths," Haluska said. "I didn't shoot as well as I would have liked, but I took it to the hole, defended well and really got a chance to show my athleticism. But I want to be a shooter and I have to show that I can do that."

Haluska is expecting to find out in the next few days if he'll be invited to the NBA's pre-draft camp in Orlando next week. This is the camp that used to take place in Chicago at Moody Bible.

Following the Orlando Camp, NBA teams are open to bring players into town for individual workouts. Haluska and his agent, Chris Emmons from Octagon Sports, already are hearing from quite a few teams.

Haluska said he will work out for between seven and 10 teams but wasn't comfortable naming any franchises until things are finalized. Some of the workouts will include more than one team.

"I'm learning a lot about there being so many variables that factor into this," Haluska said. "The next month or two, I'm going to find out about my future, but I'm not too stressed because I can only control what I can control."

Haluska is gunning to become the first Hawkeye drafted since J.R. Koch was selected by the New York Knicks in 1999.

If things don't work out in the NBA, Haluska is open to a career overseas or using his finance and marketing degree from Iowa. He is a two-time academic all-American.

"I'm not afraid to go out in the real work and get a job," he said.

Haluska has been working so hard at chasing his dream, that he hasn't had much contact with anyone, including his former Iowa coaches Steve Alford and Craig Neal, now at New Mexico.

"They called me and were wondering how come I hadn't called," Haluska said. "I told them that I haven't had time to talk to anyone because we're going about 12 hours a day. After I eat, I want to go to bed.

"But I told them I want to get down and see them while I'm on the West Coast. I hope to do that."

As if the NBA preparations weren't enough to bend Haluska's mind, he will be getting married to his childhood sweetheart, Kendra, on July 21 in his hometown of Carroll, Iowa.

"Depending on what happens with the draft, I might be in the summer league and have to fly in the day of the wedding," Haluska said. "But I'll be there."

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