William Heather is the latest Kiwi to be offered a basketball scholarship in the USA.
The former Rosmini College and Hastings Boys High student has committed to Dallas Baptist University. DBU, known as the Patriots, are an NCAA Division II university and play in the Heartland Conference.
The Patriots were Heartland Conference champions in both 2018 and 2016 and beaten finalists in 2017.
The Heartland Conference already has a strong Kiwi link:
Former Westlake Boys player Yanni Wetzell went to St Mary’s Texas before transferring to Vanderbilt.
Waikato guard Nikau McCullough is a sophomore – also at St Mary’s
Oscar Oswald from Palmerston North Boys will begin his scholarship at St Edwards University at the same time as Will.
Originally from the Hawkes Bay, Heather moved to Auckland in 2015 to further his basketball playing opportunities.
Last year he was a key member of the Rosmini College Premier Basketball team that won the Secondary Schools National Championship.
He scored 15 points in the final against defending champions Rangitoto College and a team high 25 points in the semi-final win against Christ’s College.
Heather was also a member of the New Zealand team that finished fourth at the FIBA 3×3 U18 World Cup in Chengdu, China last year.
Heather is delighted at the prospect of heading to Dallas later in the year.
“It’s been a dream of mine to play college basketball in the States since I was in intermediate school.
“So many people have helped me achieve this dream. Not only my family, who have all made sacrifices for me, but also the various coaches along the way including Matt Lacey, Curtis Wooten and my older brothers Sonny and Geoff, and all of my representative coaches.
“Many people in the Rosmini College community have also supported me academically, financially and spiritually. I can’t thank them enough for what they have done for a young guy from the Hawkes Bay during the last three years.
“Finally a big thanks to Harbour Basketball and Hawkes Bay Basketball for giving me the opportunities to further my basketball development.
“I’m really looking forward to heading to DBU to meet up with the team and the coaching staff,” he added.
Heather is believed to be the first Rosmini College student to gain an NCAA college basketball scholarship.
Rosmini Head Coach Matt Lacey is delighted that William is able to fulfill his long held desire to play NCAA college basketball.
“William has worked hard on all aspects of his game since arriving at Rosmini College early in 2015.
“The chance to play at DBU is an opportunity for William to showcase the skills that he is blessed with. He has great touch and footwork and possesses an inside game that will flourish under Head Coach Blake Flickner and his staff at DBU.
“Most importantly William is a good person and teammate that wants to do well and continually strives to get better, attributes that I believe will serve him well with the Patriots.
We at Rosmini College will be following his progress closely and I sincerely hope he is not the last student from our school to join the DBU men’s basketball programme.”