Alec Burks had never met Gordon Hayward prior to two weeks ago. Hayward sent Burks a good-luck message June 23 after the Jazz selected the guard with the No. 12 overall pick during the 2011 NBA Draft. But that was the extent of their previous contact. To Burks, Hayward was just another unknown player on Utah's roster that the rookie hoped to team up and compete with whenever the lockout ends.
Then Burks listened to the advice of his agent and took a trip to Indianapolis. Setting up camp in Hayward's home region, the former Colorado standout soon found himself completely immersed in Haywardland. Two-a-day workouts totaling five hours that run Monday through Friday at St. Vincent Sports Performance. High-energy five-on-five games in the renowned Indy Pro Am league, which counts Daequan Cook (Oklahoma City), Lance Stephenson (Indiana), JaJuan Johnson (Boston), Shelvin Mack (Washington) and E'Twaun Moore (Boston) among its big-name draws this year.
Improve every day a workaholic's dedication to the basketball court Burks has quickly picked up Hayward's driven routine. The rookie dropped in 34 points Thursday during a Pro Am game, building off two weeks of drills that have focused on shooting, agility, strength and core training. And the newest Jazzman not named Enes Kanter now has a workout companion not to mention an NBA teammate whose work ethic he's learned to admire and respect before training camp has even begun.