Though he grew up in Nebraska, Brady Heiman has become very familiar with his family’s history in southeast South Dakota.
Bon Homme County, in particular.
Heiman’s father, Tracy, grew up in Tyndall and began his high school tenure at Bon Homme before moving to Colorado — Tracy then went on to become a national champion high jumper at Chadron State College.
The Heimans still have family in the Tyndall area and Brady’s grandfather is buried nearby, he said.
“I’ve heard plenty of stories about it,” Heiman said Thursday evening.
And now, Heiman will return to the area.
The 6-foot-11 forward who spent last season on the University of Nebraska men’s basketball team will transfer to the University of South Dakota, USD announced Thursday.
Heiman, a native of Springfield, Nebraska and graduate of Platteview High School, played in 30 games last season for the Huskers. He averaged 1.8 points and 1.7 rebounds per game, but ultimately decided he wanted to play somewhere else.
“At the end of the season, I knew I was transferring, so I already had schools in my mind that I was considering,” Heiman.
Those schools were Omaha, USD and Colorado State. Heiman visited all three, he said, and then spent a week mulling over the decision.
In the end, USD won out.
The next question for Heiman is, when will he be able to suit up for the Coyotes?
Due to NCAA transfer rules, he’ll have to sit out the 2019-20 season as a redshirt, but USD said Thursday that it is looking to file a waiver with the NCAA — with the claim that Heiman’s scholarship was not renewed at Nebraska.
Regardless, it doesn’t matter, Heiman will be at a place where he feels comfortable, he said.
“I’m excited for it,” Heiman added. “I want to get up there and hopefully be part of something big.”
The addition of Heiman continues what has been an impressive past few months for the Coyotes.
Not only did last season’s leading scorer Stanley Umude decide to stay with USD rather than transfer, the coaching staff had already added A.J. Plitzuweit (transfer from Augustana), Kanon Koster (transfer from Nebraska-Kearney) and Ty Chisom (transfer from Indian Hills CC).
And now the Coyotes will have a big man in the middle with Heiman.
“We feel like he was the missing piece in our recruiting class,” USD coach Todd Lee said in Thursday’s release.
“We’ve got a good group of players coming into our program, and he was the piece that rounds out the class because of his position and the way he plays.”
While in high school, Heiman set Platteview records with 883 rebounds and 523 blocks, to go along with 1,315 career points as a four-year starter.
Heiman’s strengths should fit in well with USD’s style of play, he said.
“Especially on defense, I’d say,” Heiman added. “Blocking shots and affecting shots, I think that’s one of my fortes.”
He will help the Coyotes on both ends of the floor, according to Lee.
“He has a high skill level and can be a great rim protector,” Lee said. “He is a very good athlete that runs the floor.
“Brady fits right into what we are looking for as an offensive player, and he has the ability to be a great player in the Summit League.”
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