Aaron Haynes; a Korean basketball legend

What does it take to be a winner?

Every winner has an ulterior motive to be the best. They will stop at nothing until they are at the top. A winner wants to stay at the top. A winner does not settle for anything less.

Aaron Haynes is a winner.

“I just want to win, plain and simple. I’m not too worried about how many points I put up or how many points anybody puts up. No matter where you play in the world, at the end of the day all that matters is the W,” says Haynes.

Photo by Nick Bedard

Haynes, 32, is a ten-year professional basketball veteran out of Boise State University.

He is a 6’8 small forward who can guard four positions on the floor. His basketball IQ and his smooth left-handed jumper are key assets to his all-around game.

From Fresno, California where he was born and raised to Seoul, South Korea, basketball has taken Haynes around the world.

“I’ve played for many teams and I can proudly say that every team I have been on have been winning teams. I think my teammates thrive off of my passion to win,” says Haynes.

Playing for 12 different teams in seven different countries Haynes found his niche in South Korea’s Korean Basketball League (KBL).


Photo by 잠실=박세완 기자 park90900@joynews24.com

Haynes arrived in Korea in 2008 after being picked up by the Seoul Samsung  Thunders. His presence was immediately felt; he would lead the Thunders to the 2009 KBL finals coming up one game short in game seven.

Haynes would get his KBL ring in 2009-2010 when he led the Ulsan Mobis Phoebus to a championship.

His accomplishments in the KBL are enough to title him as the greatest foreign player of all-time.

Playing in his sixth season in Korea, Haynes has a KBL championship, one KBL league MVP, two regular season championships, he was selected to three KBL all-star teams and is the only foreign player to lead the league in scoring for two-consecutive years (2010-2011 / 2011 -2013).

“He’s really adapted to our culture. Basketball is basketball but what makes Haynes so special is that he took the time to embrace our culture and in doing so it made playing alongside the Korean players that much easier. This organization loves him like family,” says SK Knights GM JiTak Chang.

Photo by Nick Bedard

Photo by Nick Bedard

This season, just like every other season, Haynes has guided his team (Seoul SK Knights) to the top of the KBL standings averaging 18 PPG and has surpassed the 5,000 career points plateau. He splits playing time with former NBA big man Courtney Sims.

Haynes is often compared with Tayshaun Prince of the NBA, a long agile left-handed player who can stretch the floor and finish at the rim.

Last year, Slam Magazine released an article featuring Haynes’ quest to the NBA. He has not given up that dream.

“There is no denying my hunger to play in the NBA. I work hard every day to stay at that level. Right now I have a job to do in Korea and that is to win a championship. I don’t plan on taking any time off after the KBL. I’m always in the gym working on my game,” says Haynes.

Aaron Haynes 2014 SK Knights VIDEO

Nick Bedard (@bedardnick) is the editor-in-chief of Basketballbuddha.com.

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