During America's long era of segregation, Sand Springs native Marques Haynes cut one of the great personal athletic resumes in U.S. history. First, he led Tulsa’s Booker T. Washington High School to the national black basketball championship. In college, he spearheaded Langston University to fifty-nine straight victories and a stunning triumph over the world-famed Harlem Globetrotters.
Haynes then propelled the Globetrotters himself to even greater glory as their peerless point guard. In the U.S., they sometimes faced bigger challenges finding Jim Crow-era hotel rooms than winning on the court. Haynes led the team to dazzling victories across the world, and to its crowning achievement—consecutive victories over 6 foot 10 inch legend George Mikan and the NBA Champion Minneapolis (later LA) Lakers.
Though Mikan and the Lakers won subsequent showdowns between the teams, the Globetrotters’ prowess spurred the all-white league to begin recruiting African Americans. Primary among their targets was Haynes.
Declining contract offers from various NBA teams, the Oklahoma dynamo played professional basketball into his 60s with his own Harlem Magicians team. He logged more pro hoop contests than anyone else, perhaps as many as 12,500.
No one in the game has yet excelled his dribbling ability. He could bounce the ball in his prime as rapidly as six times per second. He directly influenced the most magical ball handling wizards who followed him, including the Globetrotters' own Curly Neal, Boston Celtic legend Bob Cousy, and "Pistol" Pete Maravich.
Father-in-law of Dallas Cowboys receiving great Drew Pearson, Haynes’s memorable motto was: "I'm Marques Haynes, I'll show you how!"
The above article is a bonus to the fascinating historical content found within our book
Oklahomans Vol 2 :
Statehood - 2020s
which can be purchased HERE.
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