In our era we’ve gotten used to an advanced standard of ballhandling. You see guys like Kyrie Irving and Stephen Curry and the work they put in to be great and, not too long ago, Alan Iverson who was superb for his era.
But the basic idea was there decades ago. A lot of people had solid skills in the earlier days of basketball but none so much as Marques Haynes.
Haynes, a native of Plano, Texas, came of age before the NBA was really open to Black players. Chuck Cooper was the first drafted in 1950, by the Boston Celtics, but opportunities were limited for years.
Haynes played for The Harlem Globetrotters until he had a falling-out with owner Abe Saperstein.
It should be pointed out that for a long time, the Globetrotters were a serious basketball team that only moved into entertainment later and scheduled some NBA teams for exhibitions, frequently winning.
Haynes later rejoined the team, several years after Saperstein’s death.
Although he wasn’t playing serious basketball, his skills were a template for many that followed. He was a spectacular ball handler as you’ll see here and if he came along today, he’d be one of the best now, too.