Clovis’ Baskett opens NFL career

By Greg Price: CNJ sports writer

Clovis native Hank Baskett began his NFL career Sunday with some playing time, but no receptions in the Philadelphia Eagles’ 24-10 win over the Houston Texans.

Baskett was part of a four-wide-receiver formation with 11:42 remaining in the second quarter and the Eagles down 7-0. Two plays later, Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb sucked the Texans’ defense in with a fake and fired to a wide-open Donte Stallworth for a 42-yard touchdown reception.

McNabb threw one pass to Baskett, with 13:38 left in the fourth quarter and Philadelphia up 21-10. Baskett made several moves on Houston cornerback Dunta Robinson, but could not find the ball for the catch in the end zone. Baskett had no other balls thrown his way after that play.

“The best thing was to see him go out there on the first drive (of the game),” Clovis assistant coach Darren Kelley said. “He’ll be successful.”

Kelley was an assistant coach when Baskett, who graduated in 2001, played for the Wildcats.

Baskett signed as a free agent with the Minnesota Vikings immediately after the NFL draft earlier this year and then was traded to the Eagles.

Despite missing the only pass thrown to him, Kelley still had high praise for Baskett.

“He was a great athlete and student,” Kelley said. “You know, he was smart and big and that’s part of why he’s in the NFL.”