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Column As I See 'Em

End of an era

Published: Monday, February 25, 2013

Updated: Tuesday, September 24, 2013 10:09

I distinctly remember the day T.J. Heatherington committed at Point Park. As a senior in high school, I was still undecided on where I would be attending college, but Heatherington’s commitment captured the headlines of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and other media outlets in the Pittsburgh area.  As one of the highest scoring players in the Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic League (WPIAL), as a high school player, Heatherington’s commitment to Point Park was a huge day for the Pioneers.

Four years later, Heatherington solidified his name in the record books. His points per game averages started at a team high 15.9 as a freshman.  His sophomore year was hindered when he missed about half of the season due to an injury.  Heatherington’s collegiate career took off in his junior year, as he became the highest scorer in all of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Division II with 24 points per game. Now, after his senior season ended, Heatherington’s final season finished at 17.8 points per game.

Unfortunately, Heatherington’s playing career at Point Park is now over as the men’s team lost in the Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (KIAC) tournament quarterfinals.  I certainly do not think it’s a stretch to say that he will be remembered for quite some time.  Statistics don’t mean everything, but the fact that Point Park had the highest scorer in the nation in its division last year is a big deal.

Recently, he dropped 42 points on Berea College in a big win for the Pioneers.  Although he may have been viewed as a three-point shooter in the past, Heatherington’s game evolved into a more dynamic skill set. In the Berea game, he repeatedly drove into the key and went up for layups, as he would get fouled over and over again. With his near automatic free throw shooting ability, his 42 points came to be.

Not only did Heatherington bring plenty of points and assists to the Point Park team, but also he brought talent and success with him. Some of the most exciting plays and games in my time at Point Park were a result of Heatherington’s efforts.  Hopefully his basketball career is long from over, though I’m sure he is capable of playing elsewhere.

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