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How a young law student made it into the NBA draft

The 2023 NBA Draft is here - and it'll feature an unusual potential pick
The 2023 NBA Draft is here – and it’ll feature an unusual potential pick. Image Credit: Markus Spiske

The NBA Draft is normally a place for the best and brightest of the college basketball scene to show what they can do and secure their ticket through to the big time, but this year is different for one law student with zero experience on this particular court.

Jordan Haber, who hails from Florida and is currently studying at New York’s Cardozo School of Law, decided to fill some of his spare time by browsing through the NBA’s collective bargaining agreement, which sets out the rules of engagement between players, the league and their teams.

Buried within this complex and lengthy document were details of Draft eligibility. Going through the fine print, Haber realised that he ticked enough boxes to qualify and made a bet with friends that he’d be able to make his way through – he just needed persistence enough to complete the cumbersome forms.

“You really have a three-month, four-month window to really do this,” Haber told the Los Angeles Times. “And it’s because of that window, not many people are going to think to do it because they think, oh it’s a waste of time, there’s some paperwork to fill out.”

Having filled out all the necessary papers, Haber submitted them to the NBA, who accepted his eligibility and – as is standard practice – followed up with more forms that Haber duly completed and returned. 

By April, the Draft list of nearly 300 future potential basketball stars was complete – with Haber’s name among them.

The Draft brings the best and brightest of college basketball together, so most players included on the list are known to the league and its teams, helping them make informed decisions about who to draft and who to avoid.

Haber, though, is so far out of leftfield that nothing is known about his abilities (except that he’s more of a fan – of the Miami Heat – than a player). As a result, he’s been included on part of the list called ‘unknown individuals’ along with 18 others.

The NBA has not yet commented on Haber’s inclusion, though you’d imagine they’ll have lawyers looking at the reams of contractual documentation to ensure this fun but embarrassing situation doesn’t repeat and encourage more submissions next year.

However, Haber’s been documenting every step of his journey on YouTube and TikTok, with some posts drawing as many as three million views. 

Wowed by such high numbers and the PR opportunities they present, teams have been getting in on the fun, with the likes of the Detroit Pistons, Brooklyn Nets and Toronto Raptors reaching out to Haber. His influence has even stretched beyond basketball: the NFL’s Philadelphia Eagles have been in touch with him too.

It’s very unlikely that Haber will be drafted by any team, but his actions are a welcome reminder that even in the high-stakes world of professional sport, it’s possible to have a little childish fun every now and then.

For those that are picked up, the Draft provides an incredible opportunity to turn the hard work and dedication shown at high school and college levels into a real shot at professional superstardom.

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