In the two years since Southeastern High’s Jovone Haynes moved back to Detroit, the 6-0 point guard has taken his place as one of the Detroit Public School League’s fiercest basketball competitors.
“A lot of people around the city and state know that he was one of the best eighth graders in the city when he was at Butzel Middle School,’’ Southeastern coach Geroge Ward said of Haynes, the PSL Proud Strong Learner of the Week.
“He went to a prep school in Cincinnati but he never played high school basketball until last year. Although he’s missed a lot of time, he really has re-focused on what he has to do to make his game better. We’re seeing that every day in practice and in every game.”
Haynes is averaging 16 points, five assists, four rebounds and 3.5 steals and is one of the players to watch in the Big D boys’ basketball tournament that starts Tuesday. The Jungaleers are thinking nothing less than contending for a city and state championship.
“Our goal for the rest of the season is to win every game,’’ said Haynes, “We can do it but it’s going to take hard work.”
Haynes chose boxing over basketball during the period he was in Ohio. “The boxing is over,’’ he said. “I’m putting all my energy and potential into basketball.”
Haynes chose Southeastern two years ago because of his long-time friendship with a teammate. He also knew the coach. “Coach Ward is a good coach and I wanted to play with my best friend Kenyatta Singleton,” he said.
“When we found out he was coming back to the city, a lot of guys were calling him,’’ Ward said. “But he and Kenyatta have been playing together since he was eight or nine years old, so we kind of had an ace in the back pocket.”
Haynes hopes to earn a college scholarship and wants to pursue a degree in engineering. He’s currently attracting recruiters’ interest and, to give himself his best chance, is striving to bolster his academic standing. “Right now, I’m taking courses over the internet to bring up my (2.5) GPA,’’ he said.
The Detroit Public School League Proud Strong Learner of the Week award is representative of the league’s top boys and girls athletes. The award is presented by the DPS Office of Athletics and sponsored for the third year in a row by Detroit-area McDonald’s owner-operators