Haminn Quaintance blocks, scores and dunks his way into Kent State record books

Doug Gulasy


Credit: DKS Editors

Cedrick Middleton never stood a chance.

With his team trailing 53-48 Jan. 23 at the M.A.C. Center, the Akron senior guard drove the lane. He put up a shot, hoping to cut it to a one-possession game, and.

BAM. The long arm of Kent State senior forward Haminn Quaintance casually swatted away the shot like other people swat away flies. It was Quaintance’s fourth block of the night, and the crowd roared; he finished with five in a 75-69 Flashes victory.

Quaintance has provided many similar sights this season. He leads the Mid-American Conference with 50 blocks, almost double the number of the player in second place. That averages out to 2.2 blocks per game.

“You block it, and the crowd gets into it,” Quaintance said. “It’s one of the big plays. There are certain major plays that get people pumped up.

“One, you get a block (and) that gets everybody going . Two, somebody gets dunked on; somebody gets a dunk. And three, somebody gets crossed over. Those are like the top three plays, excitement plays, you can make.”

Quaintance can make all three “excitement plays.” Besides blocks, he leads the MAC in field-goal shooting (61.1 percent). He ranks in the top five of the MAC in rebounding (8 rebounds per game) and steals (1.8 per game). Finally, he is the Flashes’ third-leading scorer (10.1 points per game) and passer (2 assists per game).

Simply put, Quaintance is a high-flying, shot-blocking, rebound-grabbing, steal-snatching, assist-dishing, shot-making machine. Kent State coach Jim Christian has called his 6-foot-8 senior a “stat stuffer.”

“You have to have a lot of different attributes to do that,” Christian said. “He has great vision, so he gets assists. He’s got great timing and he understands the defensive aspects of the game. He’s obviously very athletic, and I think that helps him in all different phases of the game.”

The player known as “Q” to teammates, coaches, fans, and . well, everybody, is the front-runner for MAC Defensive Player of the Year. He said defense comes pretty naturally to him.

“When I was at Jacksonville (University for his freshman and sophomore years), I would guard (the opponents’) best player every night, whether it was a shooting guard, small forward (or) power forward,” Quaintance said. “I even guarded a couple point guards, taller point guards.”

“Q” possesses great speed for a post player. He said he tries to make opposing forwards and centers uncomfortable by using that speed when he plays defense against them.

Another reason for his defensive success, Quaintance said, was good coaching. He said both his coach at Jacksonville and Christian were good defensive coaches, helping him.

Last season, Quaintance averaged 8.2 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.7 blocks per game while making 16 starts in his first year playing for the Flashes.

But “Q” was disappointed with his play and said he had “nowhere to go but up” this season. He worked in the off-season to improve the areas of his game where he thought he struggled in 2006-07, such as posting up opposing players.

He got a notebook and kept track of what he needed to work on, seeking input from coaches and people who helped him in workouts.

“They’d tell me stuff that I could improve on and I’d write it in the notebook,” he said. “And I’d try to improve on it.”

This season, Quaintance has seven double-doubles, including five in a six-game span in January. In the Flashes’ last game, a 64-61 overtime victory over Ball State, Quaintance had 12 points, 16 rebounds and a tip-in with 13.3 seconds left in overtime that gave the Flashes the lead for good.



(18-5, 7-2 MAC) (5-16, 2-7 MAC)

Where: The M.A.C. Center

When: 2 p.m. tomorrow

Radio: WNIR 100.1 FM (Bill Needle),

Black Squirrel Radio (Mitch Cooper and Ken Brown)

Q also plays big in big games. He scored 20 points and added six rebounds, five assists, five steals and three blocks when the Flashes played at No. 1 North Carolina on Jan. 2. In the win over Akron, Quaintance had 12 points and 10 rebounds to go along with his five blocks.

“When you play against North Carolina, you know you’ve got to be ready – you’re playing against the best team in the country,” Quaintance said. “Against Akron, you know you’ve got to be ready because you know they’re coming at you; you know you’re going to get their best shot.”

Christian said that Quaintance has also become a leader both on and off the court.

“Q’s more of a guy that, first of all, he leads by example – and therefore, he’s one of our hardest-working guys,” Christian said. “That’s one good way that he leads. The other way, I think Q’s one of the best guys we have on the team that, if a guy’s struggling, he’ll pull him aside and talk to him.

“He’s a fifth-year guy, so he’s seen a lot of different things. I think that helps guys; he’s a really good one-on-one communicator with his teammates. He’s not a rah-rah guy. He’s not a guy that pumps the team up – that’s not his personality. But there’s a lot of other ways you can be an effective leader, and that’s the way he does it.”

Kent State single-season

block records

1. John Edwards (2003-04) – 81 blocks

2. Haminn Quaintance (2007-08) – 50 blocks

3. Haminn Quaintance (2006-07) – 48 blocks

4. John Edwards (2002-03) – 41 blocks

5. John Whorton (1997-98) – 37 blocks

Kent State career

block records

1. John Edwards (2000-04) – 179 blocks

2. John Whorton (1996-2000) – 107 blocks

T3. Haminn Quaintance (2006-08) – 98 blocks

T3. Terry Wearsch (1983-87) – 98 blocks

5. Kyrem Massey (1997-2001) – 92 blocks

Quaintance said he would like to improve his offense. Any further improvement would only increase the legend of Quaintance in the eyes of Kent State fans.

Q became a fan favorite almost from the instant he stepped on the court. Every time he makes a big play, like one of his trademark blocks, the M.A.C. Center crowd roars “Cuueeeeeee.”

“At first, it used to make me uncomfortable,” Q says of his celebrity. “But now it’s cool.”

Contact sports reporter Doug Gulasy at [email protected].