Chicago Gun Violence Claims Life of Iona Recruit Michael Haynes

Ken KraetzerCorrespondent IIJuly 27, 2012

Iona Basketball Recruit Michael Haynes (CO Iona College)
Iona Basketball Recruit Michael Haynes (CO Iona College)

The Chicago Sun Times reports and Iona College confirms that Gael basketball recruit Michael Haynes, age 22, died of gunshot wounds late Thursday afternoon near his home in Chicago. 

The report quoted his cousin Kandice Blouin, who described what happened to Haynes:

"Was shot dead while trying to break up a fight over a stolen necklace," Blouin said. “He was an innocent victim, very loved by everybody.”

Further the Sun Times quoted police who stated that Haynes was:

"Shot in the wrist, chest and lower back about 5:10 p.m. in the 11600 block of South Vincennes Avenue."

The report added that the former Chicago high school basketball player was pronounced dead at MetroSouth Medical Center in Blue Island at about 6:25 p.m.

Just two weeks ago Iona head coach Tim Cluess announced that nine players, including Haynes, were scheduled to join the program in the fall to replace six seniors and two transfers. 

Haynes played at Fenger Academy and then most recently at Indian Hills Community College in Ottumwa, IA.  A 6'7'' forward, he was scheduled to play for Iona as a sophomore and compete for a starting role.

At Indian Hills, Haynes averaged 6.9 points and 4.5 rebounds last season playing for coach Barret Peery.  He had originally signed to play at UTEP where head coach Tim Floyd in an April 2010 EPVOX interview described Haynes as:

"Great competitor, great rebounder. I have not seen a guy play as hard as Mike in a long, long time."

He graduated from Heat Academy in 2010, where the team was 36-4 and ranked 4th nationally by 

Haynes attended Washington High School where he averaged 12 points and 17 rebounds as a sophomore and 17 points and 22 rebounds as a junior, according to Iona's announcement, which added that he was rated the No. 11 player in the state of Illinois by following his junior season.  As a senior at Fenger High School he did not play.

Another gun-related tragedy takes the life of a player who finally was set to play DI college basketball.  At Iona, Haynes had the potential to have a fine three-year career at a school where athletes go to class, graduate most of the time, and afterwards quite often have the chance to play professionally, or even head to Wall Street jobs. 

Our condolences to his family and friends. 


This is my second obituary this month for players from one of my teams.  Chase Prasnicki, a former Army football player, died from an IED explosion in Afghanistan. 

Sometimes I wonder what soldiers serving overseas think when they read about the violent tragedies occurring at home in places like Virginia Tech, Aurora and the streets of Chicago.


Ken Kraetzer covers Iona basketball and West Point football for WVOX and Sons of the American Legion Radio.