Drew Haymaker - 2006

He is from Sante Fe HS in Edmond, Oklahoma. Interesting how all of the sudden we have some Oklahoma interest.

He is 6-8/230 and is listed as a Center. We are the only school to offer so far, and his list of other schools interested include: Charlotte, Illinois, Louisiana-Lafayette, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas, Texas A&M, and Valparaiso.

With a last name like Haymaker, he may come in real handy when we play Cincy.

Drew Haymaker - 2001

[b]Mountain Drew: 14-year-old phenom Monday, Nov 26, 2001 By Bob Nigh

Drew Haymaker - Photo by Outside Source

EDMOND, Okla. (BP)–At 6-foot-8, 236-pounds, Drew Haymaker of Edmond, Okla. is a potential franchise player who has college basketball coaches across the United States drooling and scrambling for pens and letters-of-intent.

Considered by some experts to be among the top five players in his age group in the country, Mountain Haymaker, as he is affectionately called, is projected to be a middle- to high-NCAA Division I player, and an odds-on pick to run up and down NBA hardwood in the not so distant future.

Still a boy at heart in a big man’s body, Haymaker, the son of Judy and Rex Haymaker, pastor of Seward Road Baptist Church near Guthrie, Okla. has caused commotion virtually since the day he was born, when he weighed in at 10 pounds, four ounces and measured 23 inches long. One might say he has grown more than a tad since then, as he now wears size 18 shoes. And by the way, did I mention that he is only 14 years old and in the 8th grade at Edmonds Summit Middle School?

It’s not often that one uses the words: gentle, humble and compassionate to describe an athlete as dominating as Haymaker is on the court, but that’s how those who know him best, his family, a former Sunday School teacher and lifelong friend, a pastor and a talent scout refer to him.

“Drew is such a humble kid; that’s what is amazing about him,” said Greg Swaim, who tracks and rates upcoming players for college coaches. “There are kids with one-tenth of his talent who have 10 times the ego that he does.

“Drew and his family know that God is No. 1, and the Lord has given him his talent for a reason. I think its real neat you can find a kid like that.”

“With all the things he has going for him, he is really concerned that he doesn’t get the big head,” added Robin Stinchcomb, who was Haymaker’s Sunday School teacher when he was 3-years-old and has been his prayer partner ever since. “He doesn’t brag about what he does; he just gets out there and does his best, and whatever happens is fine with him.

“He has a tender heart; he wouldn’t do anything that would hurt someone else’s feelings. He has to learn to be more aggressive when he plays; he’s not really timid, but he doesn’t want to hurt anyone.”

Don Rogers, pastor at Beaver Church in Panhandle Baptist Association, who watched Haymaker grow up when the family lived in Hennessey, Okla. said, “Drew is a boy in a man’s body who has a sweet spirit and loves Jesus. He is a genuine Christian who just happens to play basketball. He always stood out to me during programs such as Vacation Bible School. He just loves to be in church.”

To the rest of the Haymakers Rex, Judy, Abby, 22, and Doug, 20, Drew is just a son or brother. “We know God has blessed him,” his father said, “but he is going to be a person long after he is a ballplayer. He can have a big basketball game, but he still has to come home and mow the yard.”

As things are, Mountain Drew probably will be able to pay someone to mow his yards for him in years to come. Swaim says he has the tools to play at the very top level of Division I NCAA basketball and is a viable NBA prospect. “He is a major prospect at the highest level in the country,” Swaim said. “There is a fine line sometimes between a mid-major and a Duke-type player, and the one thing that makes me think Haymaker will be a high major is because he works hard. And, to be honest, there just aren’t that many good big men out there and coaches are always looking for them.”

He obviously has the one thing that a lot of kids would like to have and don’t have: height,” Swaim said. “He has that size which has made a lot of college coaches take an early interest in him. There aren’t many like him. He is a very strong kid. A player can make himself stronger, but he can’t make himself taller.”

Among those high profile college programs that already have shown interest in Haymaker are North Carolina, Illinois, Kansas, Purdue, the University of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State University. He and his family also have visited the campuses of Louisiana State University, Baylor and the University of Southern Louisiana in Lafayette during various vacations.

Because the Haymakers are a close-knit family both Abby, who is a teacher at Harding Middle School in Oklahoma City and Doug, a sophomore at the University of Central Oklahoma in Edmond, still live at home Haymaker is drawn to OSU, a place he feels has that family atmosphere.

“That’s the place I really want to go because its so close to home and all of the coaches are really nice,” Haymaker said. “Coach (Eddie) Sutton treats his team like a family, and that appeals to me. I like Sean (Sutton’s son, an OSU assistant coach and heir apparent to the Cowboys helm) too.”

That family image has been burned into the Haymakers’ minds even more so since two players and eight others associated with the OSU basketball program were killed Jan. 27 while flying back to Stillwater after a Big XII game at Colorado. They watched how well the Cowboys program, and Sutton in particular, handled the tragedy.

Overcoming obstacles

Life has not always been easy for Haymaker, who was diagnosed as having a learning disability when he was going into the first grade in Hennessey.

“That was very devastating,” Rex said soberly. “We didn’t think there was anything wrong with him.”

In the first, second and third grade, Haymaker was placed in the learning disabled class. He finally tested out of that group, and has been on the honor roll in school every year since the fifth grade. He posted five As and two Bs on his last report card at Hennessey Middle School, finishing with a 3.71 grade point average.

“He was able to do it because of a lot of hard work,” his father said.

“Perhaps the main reason he was thought of as learning disabled was because of slow development of speech. Stinchcomb confirmed that Haymaker was hard to understand all through elementary school.

Still, that didn’t prevent the youngster from doing something Stinchcomb would never forget.

“He was 3-years-old when the Haymakers first came to our church, and I was teaching in the nursery,” she laughed. “We had an old podium in the room and Haymaker climbed up on a chair behind it and jabbered and jabbered and pounded on that podium and ended up shouting ‘Amen!’ He was preaching to the congregation, just like his dad!”

Since then, Mountain Drew has preached a message of gentleness and common sense.

“You have to keep your head straight; you can’t buy into something or someone who doesn’t do right,” he stressed. “You have to trust in the Lord to help you.”

He knows that an injury could end his basketball career at any time, and he has a backup plan in place. He plans to major in history in college and even if he has a professional career, return to his native state and become a coach, first on the high school level and then collegiately.

He has a love of United States and of Oklahoma history. “History is really the only thing that interests me,” he said.

Haymaker not only tested out of the learning disabled class in the third grade, he also accepted Christ as his Savior. A few years later, his salvation was confirmed at Falls Creek when he stayed up late one night and discussed it with his youth pastor.

Frightening free throws?

Mountain Drew has only been playing basketball for three full years. His favorite sport as a youngster was football, much the same as his brother Doug, a talented athlete in his own right. The athletic genes run in the family; Rex was a football star at Hennessey and was recruited by OU, OSU and Missouri. However, he chose to attend Oklahoma Baptist University and fulfill his calling from God as a preacher.

Haymaker played in his first organized basketball game as a member of the Enid AAU team in a state tournament. “He had never shot a free throw in a game, of course, and as we drove to the gym, his mother asked him what he was going to do when he got fouled and had to shoot a free throw,” Rex recalled. “He just bowed his head and began reciting, ‘Our Father which art in Heaven…’

“He’s stuck with it, too. The other day, I caught him reciting the Lords Prayer again when he was at the line.”

Virtually the first time he touched a basketball, Haymaker showed amazing ability. At the end of his sixth grade year, a group of Hennessey high schoolers were messing around with a ball and challenged Haymaker to try to dunk it.

“They were all bragging that they could do it, and asked me to try,” Haymaker said. “I don’t think they thought I could do it, but I did, and everybody went crazy.”

Family Ties

Doug, and especially Haymaker’s sister, Abby, are very protective of their baby brother.

“Doug and Haymaker are very competitive,” Rex said. “Doug is going to do his best to see that Haymaker keeps his head on straight.”

Meanwhile, you better not mess with Mountain Drew unless you want to deal with his very-protective sister.

“After he was born, Abby (8 years older) carried him everywhere on her hip,” Rex said. “Today, she still carries him on her hip; not physically, but if you bad mouth her brother in the stands, she’s going to be after you.”

Rogers said he always admired the Haymaker family as he watched Rex in bivocational ministry. “Here is a family that was called into ministry as a whole and they love church,” he said. “They were always driving to either Marshall or Seward Road 40 miles one way each time and it was a team effort; they are proud to serve together in ministry as a family.”

That influence has helped forge Haymaker into an effective witness for Christ.

“I think Drew has been a real good influence on the other kids around him,” Stinchcomb said. “It’s not so much what he says he is very careful about saying anything at all and chooses his words wisely its more the way he acts. He has a very gentle spirit; he’s like a gentle giant.”

Movin’ on

Earlier this year, Rex and his family decided to move to Edmond to be closer to both his secular job with an oilfield supply company and to the congregation of Seward Road church.

Although the family doesn’t live in the Summit district, the school district approved a transfer so Haymaker could attend school with friends on his AAU team, the Oklahoma Red Hawks, including Chance Hardaker, son of Santa Fe High School basketball coach Guy Hardaker, and Andy Shaw, the son of an assistant Santa Fe coach who also attend that school. Hardaker also coaches the Red Hawks, who have posted a 37-5 record in national AAU competition over the past four summers, and won a national title this year.

“Haymaker will be in a great high school program at Santa Fe,” said Swaim, who conducts regular shootouts to assess players progress and ability. “There are also a couple of other kids he’s played AAU ball with there, and that group will be very good over the next few years, no doubt.”

Haymaker matches up well with anyone, and has outplayed several other nationally known high school players in AAU ball. He has held his own against some of the nation’s best players, Swaim said.

Still, it may be what’s inside this gentle giant that really makes him stand out from others.

Stinchcomb, who continues to be a surrogate mom to Haymaker at times, and prays with him regularly when a big game or other challenge is coming up, paid him perhaps the highest compliment any mother can make.

“He’s a great kid,” she said. “I could only hope that my daughter would marry so lucky.”[/b]

any update on this guy since we are looking for big men?

He don’t grow any in the last 4 years???

i was just kinda curious if something happened with him or not. Or if we are even remotely thinking about getting him to come here.

I looked him up online and there were some stats on the guy from a couple of AAU tourneys. He doesn’t sound too impressive. He averaged 4.8 ppg and had only one rebound(in five games)in his most recent tourney. In another, he only played three of five games (DNPCD?). sounds like Tyler Best.

umm…Central Arkansas

Central Arkansas bound

we are apparently the only school still to have offered him anything.

According pcon’s post he orally committed to Central Arkanasas. I bet if you check the school’s site it’ll say he signed an LOI. A lot of the services stop following players when they committ to mid majors or especially lows.