PREP BASKETBALL: ‘Succeed on and off the court’: Good Hope’s Jacob Haynes talks sophomore season

Good Hope’s Jacob Haynes (10). (Martha Needham/The Cullman Tribune)

GOOD HOPE, Ala. — Last season was another successful one for the Good Hope Raiders as they collected 20 more wins and sophomore Jacob Haynes shared what he learned and talked about his experience on the varsity level so far.

“It was definitely a fun season for sure. I was disappointed about how it ended and I’m going to miss the seniors. I learned that if we’re going to make it far next year, we are going to have to rely on each other, work as a team, and really focus on having those same goals that we’ve had the previous years, but do even better,” Haynes said. “My ninth-grade year was a humbling experience. The game is way faster on the varsity level than I thought it was going to be, but I’m getting used to it. It’s also been really fun going to the mountains, the beach, and going to team camps. We’ve played one of the hardest schedules I’ve played through my years of playing ball. I’ve also enjoyed playing with my teammates. We crack up and have fun, but also get serious when we need to.”

Jacob has had a blast playing with a great group of guys and has soaked up as much as he could from them and his coaches.

“It’s been great for sure. I’ve learned a lot from the older guys, and it’s made me better playing beside them. I like how competitive we are and how we want to compete, no matter what teams we’re playing. Coach Drew Adams and assistant coaches Scott Adams and Griffin Morris has helped me improve on my game and become a smarter player,” Haynes said. “The coaches are tough on us, but they let us know when we do good, and they aren’t scared to tell us when we’re wrong. I’ve learned how to shoot better and just have better vision on the court, but that’s not the only thing. They speak the Gospel more than everyone I know, and they just want us to succeed on and off the court.”

Jacob has learned so much from the seniors the past two years and will get to work to prepare for this upcoming season.

“What I’ve learned from Tanner, Charlie, Colton, Jed, and Noah is that you can be a leader on and off the court. They showed me that these past two years and they are some of the best leaders I know. I can definitely take what they taught me and pass that on to the younger group. They also pushed me when I do something wrong. I’m going to miss the seniors graduating this year,” he said. “I will definitely work on my shooting and my play making. I also need to mature on and off the court too, so I’m always prepared for the game.”

Jacob has seen his game improved from his first year on varsity to now and will look to improve even more next season. He talked about his goals and the team goals, plus what will make this team special to watch.

“From ninth to 10th grade, I improved some, but not as much as I should have. This off-season, though, I’ve been gaining weight and hitting the gym almost every day. So, this summer and next year, I definitely think I will have a great season,” he said. “Individually, I hope to shoot over 35% from behind the three-point line and I want my assist-turnover ratio to be good. I just want to be a leader on the floor, and I want to always be in the right spot. Team goals, I want to win county, area, Regionals, and hopefully making the Final Four, but we can’t just talk about it until we do it. I feel like this team will be special to watch because we all have high motors and high energy in every game we enter. We have all improved tremendously on our game and I’m excited for the season.

Jacob looked up to a very special NBA player when he was younger, and talked about the best advice that he was ever given.

“I really looked up to Isaiah Thomas during the 2016-2017 season, when he almost won MVP. That was the same season that his sister passed away. All of the adversity that he’s overcome showed me I could do anything. Also at 5’9″, he made it look easy,” he said. “My dad has always told me that you have to out-work everyone because I’ve always been smaller than everyone else and he’s my biggest supporter.”

Copyright 2023 Humble Roots, LLC. All Rights Reserved.