When an Iowa boy learned his favorite Iowa State Cyclones player was turning pro less than three years ago, he was devasted. He wept as he told his parents he was his favorite player. They consoled him by telling him he'd still be able to watch him on TV. A couple of weeks ago, he saw him play in person again. That was nothing compared to what he got to experience.

Palmer Danilson is from Granger, in south central Iowa. He was only five years old when he learned that Tyrese Haliburton, his favorite Iowa State player, was entering the NBA draft.

It was quite a surprise to the little guy, considering Haliburton had played only two years in Ames. He had helped lead Iowa State to the Big 12 Tournament championship as a freshman in 2019.

Big 12 Basketball Tournament - Championship
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After scoring just under 7 points per game his first season in Ames, Haliburton took his game to a whole new level in year two. As a sophomore, he scored more than 15 points per game, while also averaging more than 6 assists and almost 6 rebounds per game. He was ready for the next level.

Haliburton was taken with the 12th pick in the 2020 NBA draft by the Sacramento Kings. He was pretty much a double-digit scorer from day one.

Last season, he was part of a blockbuster deal between the Kings and Indiana Pacers. Haliburton's only been better since the trade, averaging 17.5 per game in Indiana last year and more than 19 points per game so far in 2022. He is also the current NBA leader in assists at 10.9 per game.

As you can imagine, Danilson is pretty excited that his favorite player is hooping here in the Midwest. Thanksgiving week, his family took him on a surprise trip to Indianapolis to see Haliburton in action. Danilson got so much more than that...

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