Marques Haynes
Personal information
Born(1926-03-10)March 10, 1926
Sand Springs, Oklahoma, U.S.
DiedMay 22, 2015(2015-05-22) (aged 89)
Plano, Texas, U.S.
Career information
High schoolBooker T. Washington
(Sand Springs, Oklahoma)
CollegeLangston (1942–1946)
PositionPoint guard
Basketball Hall of Fame as player

Marques Haynes (March 10, 1926 – May 22, 2015) was an American professional basketball player and member of the Harlem Globetrotters, notable for his ability to dribble the ball and keep it away from defenders. According to the 1988 film Harlem Globetrotters: Six Decades of Magic,[1] Haynes could dribble the ball as many as 348 times a minute.[2]

Early playing days

As a child, Haynes learned to dribble a basketball in the dirt yard of his home. A native of Sand Springs, Oklahoma, he attended Booker T. Washington High School and received a $25 church scholarship to play basketball for Langston University,[3] where he attended from 1942 to 1946. During his time with the Langston Lions, the team racked up a winning record of 112–3, including a 59-game winning streak.[4]

In a February 1945 conference tournament game, Haynes showed off his dribbling skills for more than two minutes, running down the clock on a solid lead to ridicule an opponent, Southern University, which had run up the score against an inferior team (Sam Huston College, later Huston–Tillotson University, coached by a young Jackie Robinson) in a previous round.[5][6] Haynes' own coach, the legendary Zip Gayles, threatened to kick him off the team for his showboating display,[7] but it got an immense response from the crowd at the game.[5]

In 1946, Langston was invited to play an exhibition game against the Globetrotters in Oklahoma City. In that game, Haynes led Langston to a 4-point win, catching the eye of team owner Abe Saperstein in the process.[8] He was invited to join the Globetrotters, and, after completing his degree, began his long professional career.[3][9] Prior to joining the Globetrotters, Haynes briefly played for the Kansas City Stars of the Black Professional Basketball League.[5]

Tenure with the Harlem Globetrotters

Haynes, circa 1950

Haynes played with the Globetrotters from 1947 to 1953. One of the exhibition games in which he played was the famous game in West Berlin on August 22, 1951, where a landmark 75,000 people were recorded in attendance—although Haynes later insisted the turnout was closer to 90,000—and Haynes met track star Jesse Owens, with whom he roomed on the tour.[5][10] He also toured South America with the Globetrotters and played a series of exhibition games against some of the top college basketball teams in the United States.[10]

In 1953, Haynes left the Globetrotters after an acrimonious split with Abe Saperstein, the team's owner. After quitting the team, 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 found his own barnstorming team, the Harlem Magicians, after finding out that Saperstein was a part-owner of the Warriors.[11] He also received an offer to play for the Minneapolis Lakers in 1955, but he turned down that opportunity as well.[5] Despite a series of legal battles with Saperstein, Haynes attended his funeral in 1966, although he later joked he was only there to "make sure he didn't jump out of the casket".[11]

Haynes later rejoined the Globetrotters as a player and coach in 1972. During his second stint with the team, he founded a clothing company in 1973, through which he met his wife Joan, a model.[5] He was a regular on the 1974–75 The Harlem Globetrotters Popcorn Machine TV show.[citation needed] After leaving the Globetrotters again in 1979, he played for Meadowlark Lemon's Bucketeers, the Harlem Wizards, and a revitalized incarnation of his old Harlem Magicians.[5]

By the end of his playing career, Haynes was estimated to have played in at least 12,000 games and visited more than 100 countries.[12]

In retirement

Haynes retired in 1992 after a 46-year professional career, and was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1998,[13] the first Globetrotter to be so honored. On January 5, 2001, he received his "Legends" ring from the Harlem Globetrotters in Chicago. The Globetrotters also retired his #20 jersey in his honor.[12]

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.[10] In 2011, he was inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame.[4] 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."[14]


Haynes died at the age of 89 on May 22, 2015,[15] in Plano, Texas.[16] His death was stated to be of natural causes.[17]


Haynes was considered to be among the greatest ballhandlers who ever lived. Wilt Chamberlain once said, "What he did was something that I could never do, and I could do almost everything on the basketball court."[18] His game influenced players such as Bob Cousy, Pete Maravich, and Fred "Curly" Neal.[19] He has been described as one of the best basketball players never to compete in the NBA.[20]

Haynes was known for his catchphrase, "I'm Marques Haynes, I'll show you how!"[2][21] His daughter Marsha is married to Dallas Cowboys player Drew Pearson.[22]

The March 16, 2022 game between Morgan State and Youngstown State at The Basketball Classic was designated as the Marques Haynes Game.[23]


  1. ^ Harlem Globetrotters: Six Decades of Magic (1988)
  2. ^ a b "Longtime Harlem Globetrotter Marques Haynes dies at 89". Sportal. May 23, 2015. Archived from the original on May 25, 2015. Retrieved May 23, 2015.
  3. ^ a b Tramel, Jimmie (June 25, 2008). "Globetrotting tales". Tulsa World. Retrieved May 23, 2015.
  4. ^ a b Stewart, Michael (November 14, 2011). "Haynes to be inducted into 2011 Oklahoma Hall of Fame". Langston University. Archived from the original on May 24, 2015. Retrieved May 23, 2015.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g Weber, Bruce (May 22, 2015). "Marques Haynes, 89, Dies; Dribbled as a Globetrotter and Dazzled Worldwide". The New York Times. Retrieved May 23, 2015.
  6. ^ "Jackie Robinson, College Basketball Coach Archived 2009-10-17 at the Wayback Machine." Austin American-Statesman, April 15, 1997.
  7. ^ "Ceaser "Zip" Gayles". Oklahoma Hall of Fame. Archived from the original on May 30, 2015. Retrieved May 23, 2015.
  8. ^ "Harlem Globetrotters Legend – And Hall Of Famer – Marques Haynes Passes Away At 89". Harlem Globetrotters. May 22, 2015. Archived from the original on May 24, 2015. Retrieved May 23, 2015.
  9. ^ Brinkley, Brian (May 22, 2015). "Harlem Globetrotter Legend and Oklahoma Native Marques Haynes Dies at 89". KFOR. Retrieved May 23, 2015.
  10. ^ a b c Townsend, Brad (February 8, 2010). "NBA All-Star game is really filling it up". The Dallas Morning News. Retrieved May 23, 2015.
  11. ^ a b Vecsey, Peter (June 19, 2011). "Hall of Famer Haynes talks family, life in hoops". The New York Post. Retrieved May 23, 2015.
  12. ^ a b "To be the best, you got to beat the best: Marques Haynes". Harlem Globetrotters. August 2, 2012. Archived from the original on September 6, 2015. Retrieved May 23, 2015.
  13. ^ "Hall of Famers: Marques O. Haynes". The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Archived from the original on January 13, 2014. Retrieved May 23, 2015.
  14. ^ "Former Globetrotter Marques Haynes joins Texas Legends". The Dallas Weekly. November 16, 2011. Archived from the original on May 25, 2016. Retrieved May 23, 2015.
  15. ^ "Harlem Globetrotter Great Marques Haynes Dies at 89". ABC News. 22 May 2015. Retrieved 22 May 2015.
  16. ^ "Harlem Globetrotters great Marques Haynes dies at 89 | Boston Herald". Archived from the original on 2015-05-31.
  17. ^ "Sports digest: Harlem Globetrotters great Marques Haynes dies". San Jose Mercury News. May 22, 2015. Retrieved May 23, 2015.
  18. ^ Wilt Chamberlain (May 23, 2015). Remembering Marques Haynes (Short). YouTube: NBA. Retrieved July 7, 2017.
  19. ^ "Texas legends to honor Basketball Hall of Famer Marques Haynes". NBA D-League. January 14, 2011. Archived from the original on October 24, 2015. Retrieved May 22, 2015.
  20. ^ Wilonsky, Robert (May 22, 2015). "Legendary Globetrotter Marques Haynes, one of basketball's all-time greats, died Friday in Plano". The Dallas Morning News. Archived from the original on May 24, 2015. Retrieved May 23, 2015.
  21. ^ Payne, Marissa (May 22, 2015). "Hall of Fame Harlem Globetrotter Marques Haynes dies at 89". The Washington Post. Retrieved May 22, 2015.
  22. ^ Latzke, Jeff (2008-05-13). "Pearson, Casillas among hall of fame inductees". My Plainview. Retrieved 2023-05-06.
  23. ^ "Marques Haynes Game" (PDF). The Basketball Classic. Retrieved March 15, 2022.