NPH #2-Ranked CIS Prospect Joey Haywood: From Streetball to CIS Scoring Champion

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FOLLOW ARMAAN AHLUWALIA @THEREALBRINDIAN AND NPH @NORTHPOLEHOOPS

HALIFAX, NOVA SCOTIA–You may know him as “King Handles” or Joey Haywood, either way you toss it up, Haywood can flat out play the game at a high level, regardless of setting. The NPH #2-Ranked CIS Prospect will be entering his fifth year at St. Mary’s University and the CIS scoring leader (28.9 PPG) will be looking at not only stats but most importantly bringing a national championship home for the St. Mary’s Huskies.

Joey earned the nickname “King Handles” from playing on a streetball team called The Notic, “they just gave me the name, you could say I break a lot of ankles and I’m a good dribbler and they called me King Handles the name kind of stuck with me when I was a teenager and I guess it went globally.”

Growing up in Vancouver, Joey was taking part in a Hoop it up tournament and spectators were taping the games. They approached Haywood after the tournament and said they wanted to do a mixtape of his game footage. The video ended up being posted on the internet and people loved it. After blowing up on the internet; the And 1 brand, known streetballers, contacted him to put on a show in the States.  Joey also did some of the EA sports games, specifically NBA Street from Volumes two through four. He started playing for And1 when he was 18 up until the age of 23 and decided to leave the And1 contract on the table and get an education. 

Cue in Ross Quackenbush, St Mary’s Head Coach. Quackenbush offered Joey a basketball scholarship to come play basketball at St. Mary’s and earn an education. Joey decided this was best move to use as a backup plan, in case of injury. This way, he would be able to support him and his family through different means, if basketball didn’t pan out.

After leaving the street and the And 1 circuit, Joey encountered extreme success on the CIS level. Last year was no exception as Joey dominated the AUS scoring close to 30 points a game. He not only put his name in the record books as the leading Single Season point scorer in AUS history, but managed to crack the top 15 in every major stat category in the AUS, no easy feat.

When asked how he can top last year’s stats he replied “Working on my game harder, put up more shots but at the same time when I go back next year to St. Mary’s I am not really worried about my stats because I know I can score. I want a CIS championship before I leave because next year is my last year and I am really really focused on getting a national championship.”

With the AUS losing several star players there is a chance for the Huskies to make it enter the Final 8.  With that being said, Joey is aware that it is still not going to be an easy goal to fulfill in a tough conference.

“I think we are actually going to do alright. I think the AUS will still be pretty good, and I think we’ll have a good shot of making it to the nationals next year because a lot of good players are leaving like Simon Farine, Christian Upshaw and some other guys like Joe Schow from Dalhousie,” King Handles told NPH.

“It’s going to be a challenge…I think teams are going to come harder just to try and prove a point, we just gotta work hard.”

Entering his fifth year, Joey would like to go pro following the 2011/2012 season.  “I want to go play professional somewhere overseas, NBA, NBL wherever I can take my game to the next level, I’m working hard right now to prepare myself for that.  A couple people have contacted me to play but I decided to go back for my last year and finish my degree.”

Joey has been working hard this off-season to get into better shape as he prepares for the upcoming season with the St. Mary’s Huskies. Look out for Joey to be on the national radar as his work speaks for itself on the CIS scene.

Photo Courtesy: St. Mary’s Athletics 

 

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