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College Basketball Recruit Michael Haynes Killed In Chicago

The unconscionable violence that has ravaged Chicago claimed college basketball recruit Michael Haynes Thursday night when he was shot and killed in front of his home while trying to break up a fight.

The assailant of Haynes, a 6-foot-7 forward who had committed to Iona College in New York, remains at large.  Hayne was 22.

He played ast season at Indian Hills CC in Ottumwa, Iowa and had originally committed to University of Texas-El Paso but never played for the Miners. He was ranked the No. 11 recruit in the state of Illinois by ChicagoHoops.com following his junior season at Washington High School, during which  he averaged 17 points and 22 rebounds.

“We’re shocked and deeply saddened by this news,” Indian Hills coach Barret Peery told the Ottumwa Courier. “He was such a great kid and a great member of our team. Michael was a great friend to all his teammates and a great kid overall. He’ll truly be missed.”

Police said Haynes was shot in the wrist, chest and lower back while trying to break up a fight over a stolen necklace near his home. His cousin, Kandice Blouin, 25. said several men were shoving each other when Haynes pushed the shooter, who pulled out a gun and shot him.

“He was an innocent victim, very loved by everybody,” Haynes’ cousin, Kandice Blouin told the Chicago Sun-Times. “He was our meal ticket. He was going to heal this hood and they took his life.”

“It’s just so hard,” Iona coach Tim Cluess said. “I don’t know how to describe it. Once you got to know Michael you just couldn’t wait to coach him. He came from a very rough area in Chicago and he just wanted to make a better life for himself. He was just looking for a chance to change his life.”

Haynes was part of a nine-member recruiting class assembled by Cluess and his staff and was expected to be a contributor in the frontcourt. He was one of just two of the nine recruits not to already be on campus taking summer courses.

Chicago is been a virtual war zone. Murders this year have risen by nearly 40 per cent and are projected to reach about 504 killings or 42 a month.

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