The Phoenix Suns, who owned no first-round pick in Thursday's 2010 NBA draft, surprised a few draft experts by selecting four-year-old Tommy Haskins with their initial second-round pick.
Haskins is a young, raw prospect out of Glendale, Arizona. He stands only 3'1", but his loving parents, Tanya and Nicholas Haskins, have been familiarizing little Tommy with the game of basketball since his birth.
"Oh yeah, Tommy loves b-ball," Nicholas said. "When he was born, I got him one of those tiny balls you get with those desktop hoop sets ... kid hasn't let go of it since then. He's gonna be my little basketball star."
Tanya always knew her son would play basketball for a living.
"It was so cute, you shoulda seen it," she said, "He was running around the house the other day, like a little kid does, and when he went by the television, Nick had an old Suns game on ... he always does that ... always watching old games. Isn't that kind of weird? I mean, you already know the score, why do you have to watch the game even though you know the score? I don't get it and I've asked Nick about it, but he just tunes me out and keeps watching. Guys: can't live with them, can't live without them! Anyway, Tommy sees the Gorilla out there on the court and says, ‘Momma, I want to be a basketball animal like that one on TV!' ... it was so adorable," Tanya finally concluded.
DraftExpress put together this profile of Tommy:
Tommy is a small child, basically. Has limited to no grasp of the rules or regulations of the game of basketball. Can maintain tenuous grip on ball using both hands if no defensive pressure present. Limited ability to dribble for extended seconds. Can't see rim. Has range from three feet in, where jump-shot nearly reaches the bottom of net. Is cute. Eats a lot of sweets. Loves kitty cats and soft toys.
Phoenix Suns outgoing general manager Steve Kerr explained the allure of the pick.
"You know, with the 46th pick in an NBA draft, you're really drafting for upside and potential," Kerr said. "You're hoping for that diamond-in-the-rough, so to speak. You also have to take into consideration money. Second-rounder picks don't receive guaranteed contracts, and we can stash Tommy away in elementary school for a while and when he's ready to join the NBA, we'll gladly welcome him.
"In 10 or 12 years, he's going to be a really great contributor at the professional level," Kerr added.