Homecoming: Wichita native Haynes-Jones looks to continue tradition of winning at WSU


Brian Hayes

Wichita State guard Samajae Haynes-Jones runs downcourt against Newman University.

In 2015, Samajae Haynes-Jones captured a high school state championship on the floor of Charles Koch Arena.

Now he’s back.

The junior point guard — a Wichita East High graduate — made his homecoming Saturday in the exhibition game against Henderson State. Haynes-Jones joined his former city league rival, Wichita North High’s Conner Frankamp, in the Shocker backcourt.

Frankamp said he is excited to finally be on the same side of the ball as Haynes-Jones.

“It’s really cool,” Frankamp said. “He’s going to help us out quite a bit this year. It will be really fun to have him on board with us.”

The duo combined for 21 points in Saturday’s 90-53 victory.

Haynes-Jones said he felt comfortable in his first action as a Shocker.

“When I first went out there, I was excited, not really nervous,” Haynes-Jones said. “I was just going to enjoy the moment.”

Haynes-Jones followed it up with a 12-point performance in another Shocker victory Monday — this time against Newman University.

Winning is nothing new for Haynes-Jones.

In his final two years of high school, all-state point guard Haynes-Jones led Wichita East to a 46-4 record and two state tournament appearances — including the state title run his senior year.

He continued his winning ways at Hutchinson Community College.

Haynes-Jones was quick to make a name for himself on his new team. As a freshman, he started 36 games, averaging 15.4 points. He led the Blue Dragons to a 32-5 record and an at-large bid to the NJCAA national tournament.

The Blue Dragons made the best of the tournament bid, reeling off three straight wins on the way to the championship game. They fell short of the title, losing to Salt Lake Community College, 74-64.

Haynes-Jones came back with avengeance for his sophomore season.

“We all just came together,” Haynes-Jones said. “The group that we had was very special.”

With Haynes-Jones at the helm and leading the country in total minutes played, Hutchinson compiled a 35-2 record and entered the NJCAA tournament once again, this time as the No.-4 overall seed.

A comfortable first-round victory and tight wins in the second and third rounds propelled Hutchinson to the national championship game once again.

The second time around, Hutchinson cruised to a comfortable 84-58 victory over sixth-seeded Eastern Florida State to capture the title.

Haynes-Jones said the championship came as no surprise to him.

“I’m a winning type of guy,” Haynes-Jones said.

Haynes-Jones said his winning mentality will fit in perfectly at Wichita State.

“No matter what I’ve got to do — if that’s sitting on the bench and clapping or starting and playing phenomenal minutes — that’s what I’ll do.”