Haynes, Youngblood continue careers with Cuyahoga Falls

Kali Price

Although DeAndre Haynes and Jay Youngblood’s Kent State careers have ended, their basketball careers are far from over.

Guards Haynes and Youngblood signed with the Cuyahoga Falls Cougars, a minor league team in the International Basketball League, yesterday.

The Cougars are in their inaugural season, said Mitch Foldi, minority owner and sales executive for the team.

The team is not directly affiliated with the Cleveland Cavaliers, Foldi said, but IBL players are frequently scouted by the NBA.

“It’s a stepping stone for people to make it to the NBA,” he said.

Foldi said Haynes and Youngblood practiced with the team yesterday and are projected starters for this weekend’s games.

The Cougars will play at West Virginia Friday night and then return home to take on Columbus and Battle Creek Saturday and Sunday.

Contracts with forward Kevin Warzynski and center Nate Gerwig are in the works, but they have not signed with the team yet.

“The possibility is still open for them to sign with us,” Foldi said.

The team has former Mid-American Conference players as well. Former Akron guard Mario Collins is currently on the Cougars’ roster.

“(He) was our point guard,” Foldi said, “but DeAndre Haynes just took his spot today,”

The team recently added Akron center Rob Preston and forward Nick Myers as well, Foldi said.

Haynes and Youngblood ended their Kent State career with a Mid-American Conference regular-season and tournament championship and Kent State’s first NCAA Division I Men’s Tournament berth since 2002. Haynes, the first-ever Flash to be named MAC Player of the Year, was named as an honorable mention to the 2005-2006 Associated Press All-America Men’s Basketball team last month. During his tenure with the Flashes, Haynes became the school’s all-time leader in assists and steals. The four-year starter posted 625 assists and 229 steals on his career. He also claimed the No. 10 spot in career scoring.

Youngblood topped the Flashes in made field goals in the 2005-2006 season with a total of 181 made field goals. He totaled 496 points on the season, averaging 14.6 points per game.

The Cougars’ next home game is at 7:15 p.m. Saturday at Cuyahoga Falls High School.

Contact sports editor Kali Price at [email protected].