High Riser

Record-setting season propels Marquez Haynes into the national basketball spotlight

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Guard Marquez Haynes isn’t supposed to be the basketball player who was third in the nation in scoring last season, whose spectacular dunks have 20,000 YouTube hits, who’s editor-in-chief of the UT Arlington record book. He’s not supposed to be someone Magic Johnson has heard of (Magic Johnson!).

He’s not supposed to be any of those things, because Marquez Haynes “ain’t supposed to be nothing.” At least that’s what his mother was told.

Marquez was just a kid when someone predicted to Angela Haynes that her children would never pan out. She won’t say who it was, but it doesn’t matter to Marquez. He has heard doubts from everywhere and everyone, and he blows past them like they’re flat-footed defenders.

My teachers told me, ‘You’re probably not going to play professional basketball,’ and I’m in class saying, ‘I’m different!’ And they’re telling me that I’m not. I’m not sure how many of them even know what I’m doing now. But it would be interesting to talk to them.”

The Haynes legend took flight in summer 2009 when video of him jumping over 6-foot-3 Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Roy Williams for a jaw-dropping dunk during a charity basketball game became an Internet favorite. Next came the greatest individual basketball season in UT Arlington history, during which he led the nation in scoring for a time before finishing third with 22.6 points per game.

He broke the University’s 25-year record for points in a season (678) and became only the second Maverick with 1,000 points in a two-year span. He was named the Southland Conference Player of the Year and honorable mention All-American, and he participated in the NCAA’s slam dunk contest during the Final Four.

He wasn’t bad off the court, either. He got face time with Magic Johnson last spring when the NBA legend spoke on campus, and he was surprised to learn that Johnson knew who he was. Word spreads quickly when a player can score like Haynes.

He earned a bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies in May and is playing professionally in France.

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