Mike Haynes gives Cross County Basketball League all the modern amenities
Haynes grew up in Brooklyn playing what he described as “blacktop basketball.” He also played for since-closed Canarsie High School in Brooklyn. A self-described “knucklehead” during his early college days, Haynes eventually buckled down and earned an associates degree in information systems management from ECPI College of Technology (he's working on finishing his bachelor's degree). Haynes worked in IT network engineering for 15 years before switching gears and working full time as a youth basketball coach and director for M.A.D.E. (“Making A Difference Everyday”) Sports Unlimited. Haynes brought his webmaster, coaching and promotional skills to the new Cross County Basketball League this year, helping build the league that is a collaboration between M.A.D.E and Maryland-based Koa Sports.
Cross County Basketball League’s catchprase is “Bringing Youth Basketball Into The 21st Century”. Haynes’ job is to deliver on that tagline, which means he leverages the Sport Ngin platform to provide parents and players with modern conveniences such as online registration, live streaming of games, statistics, mobile team and player messaging and a robust social media presence, among other offerings. “We said when we started this, ‘Let’s take this league online.’ ” The response has been overwhelmingly positive, Haynes said. “The kids absolutely love being able to check out their stats,” Haynes said. “And with the live streaming, we’ve had so many people say things like, ‘Thank you so much for doing this live. We live in California and I never would have had a chance to see my nephew play.’ ” Haynes uses Facebook Live to stream games, and he uses the Juicer social media aggregator to display all of the Cross County Basketball League’s social media into one stream. Haynes’ work has helped the league grow from 25 teams during a test run last year to more than 50 teams this spring. He’s expecting more than 100 teams in the summer and fall and believes it could grow to include as many as 400 teams.
Haynes created a section exclusively for site coordinators that has a schedule widget that allows them to plug in a date and location to quickly call up all games at a single site for that day. There’s also an option for site coordinators to easily add news articles to aggregators set up for specific age groups.