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*Marques Haynes was born on this date in 1926. He was a Black basketball player.
A native of Sand Springs, OK, Haynes' basketball career began at Booker T. Washington High School, where he led the school to a high school national championship in 1941 and was named a Second Team scholastic All-America that season. Haynes then starred in college at Langston University (1942-46), where he was a four-time All-State, All-Conference and team MVP selection. Haynes led Langston in scoring all four years and led the University to a 112-3 record, a mark that included a 59-game winning streak.
Haynes caught the attention of Harlem Globetrotters owner Abe Saperstein in 1946, during a game in which Langston defeated the Globetrotters, 74-70. Following graduation, Haynes joined the Globetrotters and starred for the team when it defeated the George Mikan-led Minneapolis Lakers in 1948 (61-59 before 17,823 at Chicago Stadium) and in 1949 (49-45 before 21,866 fans). In a four-decade career, Haynes played in more than 12,000 games, traveled more than four million miles and entertained fans in 97 countries around the globe. His dribbling style would confuse and confound opponents and became one of the Globetrotters' most potent offensive weapons.
In 1953, due to a contractual disagreement with Saperstein, Haynes left the Globetrotters and started his own team, the Magicians. He toured with the Magicians for 18 years before rejoining the Globetrotters as player/coach in 1972. Along with the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, Haynes has been enshrined into six Halls of Fame, including NAIA (1985), Jim Thorpe (1993) and Langston University (1995). Widely regarded as the world's finest ball handler during his 40-plus-year career in basketball spent with the Harlem Globetrotters (1947-53, 1972-79) and the Magicians (1953-72, 1983-92), Marques Haynes enjoyed international fame as a basketball entertainer and athlete.
Although the Hall of Fame has elected persons with Harlem Globetrotter affiliations (Abe Saperstein, Wilt Chamberlain, Connie Hawkins, Pop Gates), Haynes is the first Globetrotter player elected into the Basketball Hall of Fame. Haynes played with the Globetrotters from 1947-1953. Upon leaving in 1953, he turned down a $35,000 a year offer from the Philadelphia Warriors that would have made him the second-highest paid player in the NBA, to create his own barnstorming team, the Harlem Magicians. Boxer Sugar Ray Robinson sometimes played exhibitions with this team. Haynes later rejoined the Globetrotters as a player/coach. He also played for the Harlem Wizards.
He retired in 1992 after a 46-year professional career and was inducted to the Basketball Hall of Fame on October 2, 1998. Many consider him the premier ballhandler who ever lived, and his game influenced players such as Bob Cousy, Pete Maravich, and Fred "Curly" Neal. It is possible that Haynes has played more professional basketball games than anyone in history. Haynes spent his twilight years in Plano, Texas, where he and his wife moved in the mid-1990s to be closer to their daughters. His old team, the Globetrotters, "pulled strings" to get him a ticket to the 2010 NBA All-Star Game in Arlington, Texas. In 2011, he was inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame. That year, he also joined the staff of the Texas Legends, a farm team for the Dallas Mavericks. At the time, he told the press that, even at the age of 85, "Basketball is constantly on my mind."Marques Haynes died at the age of 89 on May 22, 2015. His death was stated to be of natural causes.