Micayla Haynes didn’t know when she graduated high school and went 210 miles east to play basketball at the University of Arkansas-Fort Smith that she would be back three seasons later right down the road at UCO.
Haynes was a force for the Lions in her freshman and sophomore seasons at UAFS. She averaged 10 points per game each season and was named Heartland Conference Freshman of the Year in 2016-17. Despite the success early in her career, Haynes says she was still searching for the right fit. Now, as a junior, she thinks she found it at Central.
“There are some similarities but the chemistry we have here at UCO is crazy,” Haynes said. “We are all there for each others success and we are all invested in one another. I think that is probably the biggest difference. I wanted to surround myself with great people and I found that here.”
With a new environment, Haynes is thriving. She has started every game for the Bronchos and has helped lead them to their best start in two seasons (7-0), while leading the team in points per game (11.1)
After a slow start in her first two games, Haynes has quickly turned it on. In her last five games, she has reached double figures four times, dropping 17, 10, 19, and 14 points. The difference? She’s starting to settle into a rhythm.
“I’ve finally started to knock down threes,” Haynes said. “I couldn’t get going early, but the last couple of games I’ve started to hit a couple.”
With Haynes settling in and talent surrounding her, she believes this team is poised to make a run this season.
“We are looking to win the conference and then move on to a national championship,” Haynes said. “We are taking it one day at a time, but I definitely think we can do a lot of big things here.”
UCO is currently on a month long road trip, but will return back to Hamilton Field House on Jan. 3 against Missouri Western.