Thomas Robinson looked into the distance, his lungs letting in a deep breath of air as his eyes welled with tears. All the waiting was finally over. All the uncertainty wiped away.
"I'm just happy to be here, man," Robinson said to a television audience, his voice shaking. "Thank God."
Moments earlier, Robinson had been selected by the Sacramento Kings with the No. 5 overall pick of the NBA Draft in Newark, N.J.
When his name was finally called on Thursday, Robinson leaned over and swallowed up his little sister, Jayla, in an emotional embrace. For it was Jayla whom Robinson had promised to take care of after the death of their mother, Lisa, in January 2011.
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"I ain't stopping for nobody," Robinson said. "I got work to do, and I'm gonna do it."
Robinson averaged 17.7 points and 11.9 rebounds while winning consensus All-America honors in 2011-12. He would lead No. 2 seed Kansas on a run to the NCAA title game against Kentucky.
Robinson becomes the highest drafted Kansas player since Drew Gooden was taken No. 4 overall in 2002. Robinson is also Kansas' first top-10 selection during the Bill Self era.
Sixers happy with Harkless
With an eye toward the future, the Philadelphia 76ers couldn't pass up Maurice Harkless.
The Sixers selected the St. John's forward with the 15th pick, passing up an opportunity to select one of the big men most observers expected them to take.
The 19-year-old Harkless was the Big East Rookie of the Year last year after averaging 15.5 points and 8.6 rebounds as a freshman for the Red Storm.
"We felt this kid had too much potential to pass up," team president Rod Thorn said. "He was our No. 1 choice."
Mavs trade Zeller to Cavs
The Cleveland Cavaliers acquired the rights to center Tyler Zeller from the Dallas Mavericks for the Nos. 24, 33 and 34 picks in the NBA Draft.
The Mavericks selected the 7-foot Zeller from North Carolina with the 17th overall pick before shipping him to the Cavs. The deal must still be approved by the league before it's official.
Keeping it in the family
When Austin Rivers of Duke was taken by New Orleans with the 10th overall pick, it extended the streak of at least one son of a former NBA player being drafted to 11 years.
Rivers, who played one season at Duke, is the son of longtime NBA guard Doc Rivers, who is the coach of the Boston Celtics.
The father-son streak started in 2002 when Mike Dunleavy Jr. of Duke was taken third overall by Golden State.
Weber streak snapped
When Damian Lillard was taken sixth overall by the Portland Trail Blazers he became the first player from Weber State to be drafted since Willard Sojourner was taken in the second round — 20th overall — by the Chicago Bulls in 1972.