If you don't know the story of Mike Haynes, it is a sad one.
Haynes was a promising basketball player out of Chicago, one that I remember posting highlights for when I worked at the Chicago Tribune. He was going to be a great small college player. He was going to make a name for himself.
Not long after Mid-Major Madness came back to life, we were hit with tragic news. Mike Haynes had been shot in his Chicago neighborhood, just days before he was supposed to report to Iona to begin his college career.
It was a tough blow, made even worse because the details were just so headscratching. Someone lost their life over a necklace. Someone lost their life at the hands of someone they knew because they were trying to make the neighborhood a better place.
Someone lost their life, period.
This happened during a horrendous summer filled with violence in Chicago. It hasn't gotten better, not by a long shot, and it will likely continue to be an issue of contention in the city. The mayoral race, which has to go to a run-off election because Mayor Rahm Emanuel couldn't grab 50 percent of the votes during the election this week, will center around two issues: education, and the continuing violence in the city.
Haynes would have been a senior this season. He would have been walking out to center court with his teammates Friday night as Iona hosted Manhattan. He would have been handed his jersey with his family flanking him.
But he didn't get that chance.
Iona did the only thing they could do to honor Haynes. They treated him as one of their own.
MBB: During senior night at the Hynes Center @ICGaels honored Mike Haynes who would have been a senior #MAACHoops pic.twitter.com/YTLZRYFxey— MAAC Sports (@MAACSports) February 27, 2015
This is class.