After watching him several times throughout the spring and summer, Nebraska has offered 2018 Platteview center Brady Heiman, the second-ranked player in Nebraska behind Washington commit Ed Chang.
Heiman, who measured in at 6-foot-10.5 and 197 pounds at the NebHSRecruiting Top 50 Showcase last Tuesday, took an unofficial visit to Lincoln on Sunday and Coach Tim Miles surprised him with the scholarship offer, his first from a high-major school.
“After the last week of AAU in Vegas, he called saying they wanted to set up a meeting, so we did that obviously today,” Heiman said. “My family and I went there today and met with him and Coach Mo [assistant Jim Molinari] in his office and that’s when he offered … I smiled really wide and I thanked him.”
Heiman also holds offers from Davidson, Bucknell, Loyola-Chicago, Drake, South Dakota, Omaha, LIU-Brooklyn, Rice, Denver and UW-Milwaukee.
Heiman just wrapped up his AAU career with the Omaha Sports Academy Crusaders at the end of July. OSA became the first Nebraska summer basketball organization to sign with a shoe company prior to the 2017 season, and that means Heiman and the Crusaders played on the Adidas Gauntlet against some of the best teams in the country. According to OSA general manager Bob Franzese, who coached Heiman for three years with OSA, he more than held his own.
“Brady really stood out,” Franzese said. “He was as good of a shot-blocker as anybody, he really rebounded it well and he scored in a lot of different ways at a pretty high clip. He really stepped up against the best competition.”
Heiman said he feels like playing on the Gauntlet helped his recruitment significantly. Heiman held three offers (Omaha, South Dakota, Drake) prior to the spring and that tally has grown to 11 after a strong showing.
“I think playing against those players helped a lot, just with schools being able to look at the competition and know that I’m playing the best of the best players,” Heiman said.
Nebraska had a coach or coaches present for most of Heiman’s games this season, giving the center every chance to prove he deserved an offer.
“I give those guys a lot of credit,” Franzese said. “They really did their homework. I’d say they were probably at about 90 percent of our games.”
Heiman has visited Nebraska’s facilities unofficially twice and has attended two or three games, and he has built up a relationship with Miles and Molinari, who has led his recruitment.
“I like Coach Mo a lot; he’s a funny guy,” Heiman said. “I’ve been talking with Miles a lot more now, and I like him a lot, just learning more about him and the program.”
Weighing in under 200 pounds, Heiman is certainly a project. But according to Franzese, the Nebraska coaches saw enough both in his present talent and his upside to pull the trigger.
“In talking with those guys, I think they are excited about where Brady’s at now, but even more so his high ceiling,” Franzese said. “I think they feel like he can really be an impact player here down the road once he gains some weight and gets in the weight room and starts eating as he should.”
When Heiman first set foot on the varsity floor as a freshman, he was little more than a shot-blocker. Now, two years later, Franzese said he has become more of a complete player starting first and foremost with his mental approach to the game.
“His mental toughness, he’s just a much tougher kid than he was when we got him a few years ago; that’s No. 1,” Franzese said. “Just his overall skill level, Coach [Tim] Brotzki has done a great job with him at Platteview and the time he has spent with Cody Levinson [of Going Vertical] has really paid off. He has a number of things he can go to offensively: Fifteen-footer, 3-point shot, hook shot going both ways; it’s pretty incredible. He has certainly put in the time and it certainly paid off.”
As a junior, Heiman averaged 15.7 points, 8.9 rebounds and 4.8 blocks as Platteview went 21-5 and qualified for the Class B State Tournament. As a sophomore, Heiman flirted with a triple-double, averaging 13 points, 10.1 rebounds and 7.4 blocks. With all but one player returning from last year’s team, the Trojans should be one of the favorites in Class B heading into the 2017-18 season.
“I’m really excited,” Heiman said. “We return all but one senior. I think we can make a good run this year.”
Heiman said he has a meeting scheduled with Creighton on Monday. The Bluejays have been tracking him closely this summer as well but have yet to offer. After that, he will decide on what official offers he is going to take. Heiman said he hopes to make his decision before the high school season starts.
Nebraska currently has five open scholarships for 2018 with no commitments to this point.
Jacob is in his third year with Hail Varsity covering Husker athletics. He has also written extensively for SB Nation’s Bright Side of the Sun and The Creightonian. His love of basketball can best be described as an obsession and if you need to find him, he’s probably in a gym somewhere watching, coaching or playing hoops.