Samajae Haynes-Jones' "Mommy" motivation

Posted: Updated:

Samajae Haynes-Jones won a state championship at East High School and then a national championship at Hutchinson Community College, before getting a scholarship to play for the team he dreamed of suiting up for. 

Tuesday night he'll play in his last home game at WSU,and while it hasn't been a story book ending capped off with another championship, Haynes-Jones is grateful for his time as a Shocker. 

"It means a lot," said Haynes-Jones. "Growing up I never thought I would be playing here. It's always been a dream of mine, but just getting this opportunity I'm glad that I did and I got to show my talents here in my hometown."

"It's what the family wanted," said Wichita State men's basketball coach Gregg Marshall. "They wanted him to be close. I'm very proud that he wanted to be close and be right here in his hometown."

Against East Carolina, "From right here in Wichita, Kansas. Number Four, Samajae Haynes-Jones" will ring out in Koch Arena for the final time. 

Haynes-Jones, it's a dedication to his mother Sharon Haynes, who passed away from cancer during his senior year of high school.

"Everybody has their own story to tell and their own trauma or tough things to deal with in their life, adversity," said Marshall. "And Samajae has had quite a bit."

When Haynes-Jones walks off the court he puts on a necklace that reads "Mommy". A reminder of the person who helped his passion for basketball grow.

"She's always here with me. It's always tough when I think about it," said Haynes-Jones. "It's something that keeps me motivated, it's something that this is why I do it for and this is why I've been playing basketball. She gave me the ball first."


  • Most Popular Stories

    • Florida man thinks he's stealing pain pills, ends up with laxatives

      A Florida man is behind bars after stealing what he thought were Hydrocodone pills, but which turned out to actually be over-the-counter laxatives and not powerful prescription opioids, according to a criminal complaint.

    • K-State student who went missing was 'outrageously lucky,' father says

      The father of a Kansas State University student who was found after going missing for days says his son was "outrageously lucky."

    • Amiah Robertson

      Missing 8-month-old Indiana girl believed to be in extreme danger

      Indianapolis police detectives say the details surrounding the disappearance of 8-month-old Amiah Robertson are still under investigation. 

    • Police: Alcohol a factor in deadly east Wichita crash

      Police say alcohol was a factor in a crash that killed a 57-year-old woman in east Wichita.

    • Mayor hints more jobs coming to Wichita

      Wichita Mayor Jeff Longwell hinting of hundreds of jobs coming to downtown Wichita. 

    • Kansas man pleads guilty to sex crime involving child

      A Kansas man could face up to 30 years in federal prison after admitting that he drove to Missouri to meet what he believed was a woman willing to sell her 10-year-old daughter for sex.

    • Local family loses beloved dog to coyote attack

      The City of Bel Aire is warning residents to keep a very close eye on their pets, even during the day, and one local family has a warning after their dog was viciously attacked. 

    • Community members in Clearwater are fed up with what they're calling a dangerous intersection.  An accident at 71st and 135th recently injured 9 people, most of them children.  The intersection of 71st and 135th is the main way both in and out of Clearwater. As accident after accident happens, citizens are demanding solutions to a safer intersection. 

    • Local teen returns after visiting family in flood-ravaged Nebraska

      Jayson Screen was waiting for a small plane’s most precious cargo Wednesday night. It was carrying his thirteen year old daughter, who finally came home from Nebraska after visiting her mother during the flooding. Her trip there was fine, but the floodwaters quickly surrounded her mother’s home.

    • MISSING IN KANSAS: Hannah Widener

      A family is hoping you can help them find their missing teenager: Hannah Widener.