Wednesday , Aug , 24 , 2005 C.Y. Ellis

Joel Haywood AKA King Handles


Joel Haywood AKA King Handles

King Handles was born Joel Haywood on September 3rd, 1984 in Vancouver, BC. His family immigrated from Trinidad & Tobago before he was born and lived in Burnaby, BC. There as a youngster he got into the habit of playing basketball and soccer as his dad, Zephryn, was an avid player and an exceptional runner. Joey’s older brother, Gary, was a ball player and took Joey with him whenever he would play. Grabbing the ball and just dribbling, shooting, doing whatever was a part of Joe’s daily routine, he sincerely enjoyed playing basketball. When he hit the age of 7, he had to make a choice, he was either going to play basketball or soccer. He chose basketball, his reason? “In soccer, there’s too many people on the field and you don’t get your time to shine.”
 
From here out he started to take basketball serious and during his younger years he started playing ball at David Lloyd George Elementary. Down an alley and across the street from where he lived, there was a park and this is where the legend grew up and became who he is today. For the people that lived in the South Granville area of Vancouver, this park was the place to be in the summertime getting great runs everyday for hours. High school players like Jordan Mason (SFU standout) used to run at this court and the youngsters like Joey rarely got shine. It’s also here where he met Yash, who ended up becoming his best friend. For years Yash had been going to basketball lessons at Kitsilano Community Centre with former Harlem Globetrotters, Mel Davis. Joey decided to tag along with Yash and from there it was on. This is also where he met current webmaster, Mariel. Mel noticed Joey had a different game as opposed to everyone, his jumper was great and he was blazing quick. It is here that Joey, as a youth, honed his dribbling skills as the routines involved a lot of ball handling drills.
 
Attending Mel’s lessons got him to play in the Kits Youth Basketball League which had great competition for ages 13-16 and also got him a spot on the Timberwolves team in the family movie, “Air Bud” featuring Kevin Zegers and “Buddy” – a dog that plays basketball. After a few years of rolling the KYB League it was time to move on and that’s when Joey started training on his own and is as quick as you see him now.
 
Below is some brief information about Joey’s stints in high school, college and how he got into the game of streetball.
 
High School
Attending Magee Secondary was an instant choice for the DLG grad. All his friends were going there and it was his home school. Immediately he made an impact on the basketball program there as he was the #1 player in the school at every grade. He received various player of the year awards and in grade 10 he tried out for the U16 team and made it to the Top 20 players in BC roster. Joey’s style of game was very different from what coaches wanted here in BC and therefore he got slept on A LOT. He was USA ready whereas other players were a lot slower and couldn’t take bumps.

In his senior year Joey gave off what was probably one of the best performances by a player ever. The team was the Kitsilano Blue Devils who were rated #1 in the province and were the previous year’s AAA Provincial Champions. Joey dropped 38 on the team, and although the Magee Lions lost, he gave some hope to the team. The Blue Devils had to switch who was guarding him at least 5 or 6 times because he was on fire. In that final year, the Lions didn’t make the provincials but they were also losing one of Magee’s finest players in basketball history.

 
College
Joey had a minor college stint at Langara College in Vancouver, BC. He wasn’t the starting guard and didn’t get much shine at all but made the most of it. He spent 1 term (4 months) playing for the Falcons before he decided it wasn’t for him to play ball here. He was actively recruited by both Capilano College and Langara whose team was supposed to be coached by Canadian National team player, Novell Thomas.
 
How He Got Into Streetball
In 2000 at the Hoop-It-Up 3 on 3 Tournament by Science World in Vancouver, Joey was running with his boys Chris Paquet and Jermaine Foster. They were approached by two white dudes who wanted to do a film on streetball in Vancouver. That tape went onto being the much acclimated “The Notic” streetball tape, a mixtape that cause a revolution just as And 1 had released their first “And 1 Mixtape” several years before. Instantly Joey was named King Handles for his blazing quick crossovers and also his ability to control the ball automatically. Chris was giving the title Maestro and Jermaine became J-Fresh. Nobody realized the degree of effect The Notic tape had in the streetball community, it caused a wave of people to pick up their cameras and start freestyling to create a mediocre attempt at their own mixtape.
 
A few years later, The Notic 2 was released, totally revamped from its predecessor and most definitely featuring King Handles. Footage on this tape consisted of local runs, HIU games and two great high school accomplishments for Joey: playing in the BC All-Star game – note that he was the only player from Magee to play in this game – and playing in the first annual Basketball Jones (now HoopLife) Super Pages game which also featured BC’s top ballers. It was evident Joey had reason to be labelled a streetball as he dished out passes and made plays that had a resemblance to streetball God, Rafer “Skip to My Lou” Alston.
Summer after summer at Hoop-It-Up fans would be entertained with the King’s flare and unbelievable quickness; it was something you absolutely could not see elsewhere. All of these moments lead up to one thing that can almost be called his destiny – the second annual YPA Players’ Ball game in Oakland. It was heard around message boards and through word of mouth that YPA wanted to get King Handles into the game and after going back and forth with talks it was final, he was gonna be there. And so it went down and it went down very nicely. Rather than focusing on pulling tricks in the game, Joey went after buckets and playing tight lock down D, this got the attention of YPA CEO Courtney Smith as well as YPA’s franchise, Roberto “Exile” Yong. Roberto and Joey had some talks on the phone and he made the move to try and recruit Joey onto the squad. Knowing that The Notic’s future projects (after The Notic 2) were rolling really slow Joey had to do something and YPA was it. A phone call to Court got it done, Joey was officially part of the YPA squad – the hottest and fastest rising streetball crew in the world: YPA, he was.
 
Present
Over the past few years the story has been simple, he’s been around the states playing in games, has two SLAM appearances – note he is the ONLY Canadian streetballer who has been featured in SLAM: Kyle Wilson was featured in SLAM only as part of the Toronto grass roots program – and will be featured at various YPA events and the Streetball Revolution Tour. While he continues to have The Notic in his blood, YPA is where he is right now, nothing else could be sweeter for the man.
 
Future
What the future holds, only time will tell. Joey would like to end up playing overseas in a year or two and if he can find a way to get a chance for the L, he’ll go for it. Playing with YPA is something that brings true happiness to him and he’ll forever be bound to them.
 
– Courtesy of KingHandles.ca