RICHMOND, Va.- Old school is a term that is used lightly and frequently, but the term certainly applies to the No. 3 ranked player in the class of 2007, Kevin Love. The 6-foot-8 power forward not only snaps outlet passes three fourths of the way down the court with regularity like Wes Unseld, he also carries the middle name Wesley in honor of the former NBA great.
"When I was with the Baltimore Bullets, Wes would take me to the children's hospital to visit with the severely ill and disabled children," Love's father Stan Love said at the NBA Players Camp in Richmond, Va. "It was very difficult for me to handle at that time, but Wes would let the children crawl all over him, and would play wit them and give them gifts. He was just a great philanthropist, or citizen of the world as I would put it.
"So when Kevin was ready to be born, I really wanted to do something in tribute for Wes. Kevin shares his name with the middle name Wesley. And it really is something else that he throws those outlet passes just like Wes used to do."
Not only did Stan Love infuse a little bit of Unseld's spirit into his son, but he also cultivated a respect for the history of the game in Kevin.
"It is amazing how little most of these players know about the older players like Wes Unseld," commented Stan Love. "Kevin knows who all those players are and has an appreciation for how they play."
Many of the skills that made the older era of NBA players great are a part of Love's skill package. Whether it is with a traditional chest pass or overhead pass, Love is a master at launching outlet passes the length of the court for easy scores. In the low post he has superb foot work, a shot fake defenders cannot resist and a lethal jump hook with either hand. He might not elevate as high as most of his competitors on the national level, but he does get off the floor quickly and is a master at using his wide body to gain prime posting position and gain leverage on his defender.
Though he has a fundamentally sound old school type of game, Love also has an appreciation for the flashy NBA stars of today and is not happy about losing the opportunity to make the jump straight to the NBA from high school as the league is set implement an age restriction on the draft.
"I just think it is the end of an era," said Love. "There will not be anymore Lebron's, Kobi's, TMac's or Garnett's. So many of these players had so much hype coming out of high school, and now they are superstars. It was my goal to go straight to the NBA like those guys. I just wanted to do it if the option was there to be a lottery pick.
"The age limit rule does not make a lot of sense to me. It is just going to make it harder for the colleges, since they will have to recruit players that they hope will stay for more than one year, but they aren't going to. I don't see how it helps the colleges."
Although it has been his goal to bypass college, Love has given college enough thought to develop a school list.
"North Carolina and Arizona are recruiting me the hardest," he said. "I also like Duke, Kansas, UCLA, Washington and Connecticut. Who I like the most is affected by who is recruiting me the hardest, but when it comes down to it, I'll go with the program that fits me the best, has the chemistry I'm looking for, and has tradition."
Not satisfied with his son's generic answer about his school list, Stan Love prodded Kevin into revealing his dream school.
"It is Duke," Kevin Love said. "Duke has always been my dream school ever since I was young."