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SANTEE — If you follow Lake Marion High School basketball, then you likely know the name Andrew Haynes -- more commonly known in recent years as "DJ Stroke."

Haynes was one of the stars of Lake Marion’s first varsity basketball team. That team etched its name in history, not only as the school's first squad, but also because of Haynes himself.

Lake Marion was established in 2004 in a merger of Elloree and Holly Hill-Roberts high schools. The Holly Hill-Roberts basketball team closed out its final year by winning the Class 3A state championship, led by O’Tey Sellers. Meanwhile, Haynes was a star on the Elloree team.

In their debut season, the Lake Marion Gators entered the 2005 playoffs with only five losses. Lake Marion won its first-round playoff game and faced Georgetown in the second round.

The game was deadlocked at 59 with under 10 seconds left. There was a scramble for the ball. Haynes gained possession. With under 4 seconds to play, he put up a layup.

The basket provided the two-point margin of victory, allowing the Gators to advance to the lower state finals. At that moment, Haynes took a place Lake Marion history and added to the magical season for the Gators.

Prior to the season, Haynes found himself in a similar situation. His team was down in the final moments of a game, and he had a chance to win it. He missed the shot.

In an interview with The Times and Democrat after hitting the game-winning basket a year later, Haynes recalled the miss. He said his coach told him he would have the chance at redemption.

Though the Gators’ 2005 season ended with a loss in the state championship, Haynes and his teammates set a high mark for Lake Marion basketball in its first year.

After high school, Haynes remained true to his roots. The Elloree native became known as “DJ Stroke."

As a disc jockey, playing music for various events, Haynes became widely popular in Orangeburg and surrounding areas. He is referred to as a “giant” by his longtime friend Kelvin Gadson.

Gadson, an S.C. State University graduate and Orangeburg resident, said he established a relationship with Haynes through an event with the Orangeburg-Wilkinson basketball team.

“I needed a DJ, and when I called him, it wasn’t a problem,” Gadson said. “The young people loved him."

As a DJ, Haynes was a mainstay at local events. Gadson particularly remembered a “Stop the Violence” event the two put on together.

Gadson said the event was inspired by the recurring violence in Orangeburg.

“It was so much killing going on in Orangeburg, so we came together as a whole," Gadson said.

Haynes put on several events for his community at the R.J. Anderson Community Center in Elloree. Haynes’ events catered to youth, and his flyers displayed the message “this is a community event, so please come in peace.”

Haynes stayed close to his basketball roots, often hosting basketball events, including his very own “And 1 Style” streetball basketball tournament.

On April 19, Haynes passed away at the Regional Medical Center. According to Gadson, the Santee man died from complications from an asthma attack.

He was 30 years old.

Gadson said Haynes loved his family.

“He always put his family first,” Gadson said. “That is why he was DJ-ing, to provide for his family.”

Funeral services for Haynes will be held at noon on Thursday at Greater Target AME Church, 7248 Old State Road, Holly Hill. Burial will follow in Granger Baptist Church cemetery, Elloree. Williams Funeral Home of Elloree is in charge of arrangements.

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Contact the writer: bharris@timesanddemocrat.com or 803-533-5516

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Staff Writer

Bradley Harris is a Government and Sports Reporter. The Irmo, SC native is a 2018 graduate of Claflin University and recipient of the 2018 South Carolina Press Association Collegiate Journalist of the Year Award.

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