After what's been a long and winding recruitment process, Tucker Haymond officially faxed in his National Letter of Intent to the Western Michigan coaching staff earlier this morning around 7:00 a.m. (PT). He joins Mishawaka, IN shooting guard Leo Svete and Kalamazoo-native Bishop Robinson as WMU's third commitment in the 2013 class.
"We're on spring break right now so I was up pretty late last night," Haymond told BroncoBlitz earlier this evening. "My mom woke me up pretty early and said, 'You have to sign today!' I was just so tired," Haymond laughed.
"I talked to Coach Kool," said Haymond. "I called him on the way to my mom's office where we faxed the paperwork. He was happy that it was official now."
Head coach Steve Hawkins was very pleased as well to have Haymond officially inked.
"I think he has a body that's close to college-ready right now," said Hawkins via phone from Los Angeles, CA Wednesday night.
"He is cut from the kind of cloth that we really like in a player. He's a tough, hard-nosed kid. Sometimes you get freshmen that you have to re-program or re-wire into thinking tough, physical thoughts. We're not going to have to do that with Tucker."
"I've been to Seattle three times and saw him on the summer circuit a ton," Hawkins continued to explain. "He's a very good athlete. At 6-foot-6, he can really jump, he's got good lateral mobility, and he's just athletically gifted. He's a good 3-point shooter -- not great -- but good."
"So we've got to get him to improve from there, but he's definitely good enough to make you honor it. And then he gets to the rim pretty well, slashes well. He really gets out and runs on a fast break."
Hawkins also went on to say that Haymond has a lot of what it takes already to be a potential contributor. However, as is the case with most incoming recruits, a lot of that will largely depend on how quickly he can pick up on schemes, gel with teammates, and find his role within the system.
"I think he has the mental makeup," said Hawkins. "Most defensive rebounding is heart and toughness. I think he has both of those things."
"Offense takes more time to develop. It takes time to learn the offense and learn plays. Everything offensively, he will need to work on."
Haymond will make the permanent 2,000+ mile trek soon, arriving on campus in late-June along with Leo Svete, Bishop Robinson, and the rest of the WMU basketball team to participate in open gyms and off-season workouts.
"I realized I'm not a high school basketball player any more so that's kind of cool," Haymond said light-heartedly. "I knew what was gonna happen but now that it's here, I can't stop thinking about it."
"I'm not going to stop here. There's a lot of work still to do."