View Full Version : AP's Nick Geranious - "Zags' Heytvelt enjoying his senior year"

03-24-2009, 02:18 PM
From the seattlepi.com (http://www.seattlepi.com/local/6420ap_bkc_gonzaga_heytvelt.html?source=mypi):
SPOKANE, Wash. -- The crowd roared as Gonzaga's Josh Heytvelt was feted on Senior Day, and the 6-foot-11 center choked up as he tried to address the fans.

It had been a long and difficult college journey for Heytvelt, and some wondered if he would survive injuries and a drug bust to reach his senior year.

But Heytvelt had grown into the player that many predicted when he was a heavily recruited high school kid in the small Eastern Washington farm town of Clarkston, and he will be counted on to battle Tyler Hansbrough in Friday's NCAA regional semifinal against North Carolina.

Gonzaga students and fans expressed their admiration with a long ovation on March 3. Heytvelt, 22, offered his thanks, but not much more of the speech he had prepared.

"I didn't think it would be as hard as it was," Heytvelt recalled this week. "For everything I went through, it was just fine that it choked me up a little bit."
"Josh has had a great year, academically, socially, with the team," Few said. "He had fun this year, for the first time in awhile."

"Everybody is hoping he caps it with a couple really dominating performances," Few added.

Heytvelt believes the period since his arrest has been life-changing.

"I had a lot of people helping me through everything," he said. "Because of that, it has made me such a better person and teammate. I think that's why I've been cherishing the last year and a half a lot more than the first couple years."

Heytvelt has several tattoos, including one that says "I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me."

He has already graduated in sports management. He knows from talking with former teammates like Ronny Turiaf and Adam Morrison that the NBA is a quantum leap from college basketball. He also knows to cherish this moment.

"No matter if you are in the NBA, if you are overseas, or no matter what you are doing, there's nothing like that group of guys that you have in college," he said.

03-24-2009, 02:25 PM
The good articles just won't stop! What a week!

03-24-2009, 03:26 PM
The more I read about Heytvelt the more respect I gain for him. It has not been easy for him in his time at Gonzaga, that's for sure. I mean from the start with the whole recruiting issues, to the drug bust as well as having a daughter while still in college... challenges that he has overcome successfully.

To me he seems like a good kid from the north west that has made some questionable choices that have caught up with him. I admire how he has made it through such scrutiny, from the media, fans, his fellow players, etc. I can only imagine how tough it was for him and his family being in the tight knit communities of Gonzaga and Clarkston.

I believe that many people in his circumstances would not have been able not only overcome the obstacles but overcome them with great success. It really shows that he is a man of true character and a strong belief in the Lord, as evident in his tattoo. For that, he will is my all time favourite Zag.

03-24-2009, 10:06 PM
great read! after this season i think anyone worrying about josh (or pargo for that matter) can put it all to rest. they have succeeded in the class room, as well as taken this team to a place many thought they couldnt. these are two of the best zags on and off the court to attend this university.

03-24-2009, 11:05 PM
I really think Josh after this year has become my favorite zag of all time. All that he has come through and he is just so fun to watch. Some get frustrated when he doesn't get dirty in the post enough but he is just SO fun to watch out there. So much athleticism natural talent... Blocks a shot or gets a sick dunk and that king kong type yell and flex he does is classic.. i can't wait to see what he can do at the next level but most of all, hope he has 4 more games here

03-25-2009, 06:46 AM
The good articles just won't stop! What a week!

Let's keep it going!

Stories like Josh's make it all worth it, stories like Micah's, like Jeremy's...the stories of these young men successfully meeting and overcoming the inevitable obstacles in life. I can relate, as I'm sure all can.

And we get to be a vicarious part of these successes, or better, we get to be a small piece of the support for these young Zags, for these young men.

To me, it's very moving, very satisfying indeed.

I am a huge Josh fan.