By Mark Rountree

Two Haymakers are back in the news.

Former Hennessey product Drew Haymaker has orally committed to play basketball at Central Arkansas, which is coached by former Phillips University Haymaker coach Rand Chappell.

Local basketball fans will remember the 6-foot-8 Haymaker, a highly-touted junior high player in Hennessey before he moved to Edmond Santa Fe.

Local fans also will remember Chappell, who was at the helm of some of the most successful seasons in Phillips history.

In 1998, just months before the school closed forever, the Haymakers were ranked No. 1 in the NAIA polls. Chappell coached the Haymakers for three seasons and went to two national tournaments.

"It doesn't get much funner than that,'' said the 42-year-old Chappell. "The Mabee Center was a pretty rocking place to be. I remember four or six times, the gym was so packed, the fire marshal came out and wouldn't let anybody else in."'

One of the standouts on Phillips' last team was All-American Joe Bunn, who still is playing professionally overseas.

"I've coached for seven years since then, and Joe still is the best player I've ever coached,'' said Chappell, who has coached at Henderson (Ark.) State and Central Arkansas since his Phillips days.

Fans who want to see Chappell will get a chance Nov. 22 when his Central Arkansas team travels to Weatherford to play Southwestern Oklahoma State.



Rountree is the News -- Eagle sports editor



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