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Art Heyman

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Art Heyman

Art Heyman
Heyman with the Duke Blue Devils
No. 4, 21, 35, 40, 12, 32
Small forward / Guard
Personal information
Born (1941-06-24)June 24, 1941
New York City, New York
Died August 27, 2012(2012-08-27) (aged 71)
Clermont, Florida
Nationality American
Listed height 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m)
Listed weight 205 lb (93 kg)
Career information
High school Oceanside
(Oceanside, New York)
College Duke (1960–1963)
NBA draft 1963 / Round: 1 / Pick: 1st overall
Selected by the New York Knicks
Pro career 1963–1970
Career history
19631965 New York Knicks
1965 Cincinnati Royals
1965–1966 Philadelphia 76ers
1966 Wilmington Blue Bombers (EPBL)
1966–1967 Hartford Capitols (EPBL)
1967 New Jersey Americans (ABA)
1967–1969 Pittsburgh / Minnesota Pipers (ABA)
1969–1970 Miami Floridians (ABA)
Career highlights and awards
Career NBA and ABA statistics
Points 4,030 (13.0 ppg)
Rebounds 1,461 (4.7 rpg)
Assists 859 (2.8 apg)
Stats at

Arthur Bruce "Art" Heyman (June 24, 1941 – August 27, 2012) was an American professional basketball player.

Early years

Heyman, who was Jewish,[1] was born in New York City. After attending Oceanside High School in Nassau County, New York, the 6'5" guard/forward was heavily recruited by many schools, and originally signed a letter of intent to play for the North Carolina Tar Heels. At the last moment, however, Heyman changed his mind and agreed to play for the Tar Heels' greatest rivals, the Duke Blue Devils.

College career

Due to NCAA eligibility rules that prohibited freshmen from playing varsity sports, Heyman played his first year at Duke with the Freshman team, which compiled a record of 10–5, including three victories over the Tar Heels. During one of the Duke-North Carolina freshman games, North Carolina freshman Dieter Krause attacked Heyman, leading to a melee where the two coaches had to be restrained from attacking each other.[2] Heyman needed five stitches after the attack.[3]

During his sophomore season, Heyman starred for the varsity team, and North Carolina and Duke again were at each other's throats. On February 4, 1961, the Duke and North Carolina Freshman teams had played the first game of the double header. There were multiple fights during the game, and North Carolina had finished the game with only three players on the floor (five North Carolina players had fouled out, and three more had been ejected for fighting). During the varsity game that night, Heyman was involved in two incidents, where he first pushed over a fan who he thought was attacking him, and then in the closing minutes of the game, while trying to protect a slim Duke lead, Heyman committed a hard foul against future Hall of Fame coach Larry Brown who was attempting to drive to the hoop. Brown threw the ball and then a punch at Heyman, touching off a general melee, which saw future basketball executive Donnie Walsh, then a substitute player for North Carolina, also attack Heyman.[4] The melee lasted about ten minutes, and despite Heyman being ejected for fighting, his 36 points had given Duke the victory, 81–77.[2]

Brown, Walsh and Heyman were all suspended for the remainder of the ACC season. Heyman was allowed to play in non-conference games, and the ACC Tournament. However, Duke failed to make the postseason, despite Heyman being voted the tournament's outstanding player, losing the ACC Tournament final to the Wake Forest Demon Deacons, 96–81. At the time, only the league champion was admitted to the NCAA Tournament, and league rules prohibited ACC teams from playing in the NIT Tournament. Heyman finished the season averaging 25 points and nearly 11 rebounds per game, and despite his suspension, Heyman was voted to the All-ACC basketball first team. He also won numerous national plaudits, being named to the UPI and AP Third-Team All American squad.[5]

In 1962, Heyman's junior year, he again had a great year (scoring 25.3 points per game, and averaging over 11 rebounds per game, but Duke failed to make the post season, being upset by the Clemson Tigers in the ACC Tournament semi-final. Heyman was once again voted to the All-ACC Basketball first team, and the AP and UPI Second Team All-American squad.[5]

However, during Heyman's 1963 senior year, Heyman unleashed his best season yet. Duke won the regular season conference title, but to make the NCAA tournament, they would have to win the ACC Tournament. Their first game was against 8th seed Virginia, a game in which the Blue Devils won handily, 89–79, In the tournament semi finals, the Blue Devils defeated the North Carolina State Wolfpack, 82–65. In the final, they had a chance to get revenge for the 1961 tournament final loss, as they faced off against Wake Forest. Heyman and Duke avenged that 1961 loss, defeating the Demon Deacons 68–57, earning the Blue Devils the right to play in the 1963 NCAA Tournament.

The Blue Devils were given a bye to play in the round of 16, and they defeated New York University, who had Happy Hairston and Barry Kramer, in the East regional semi-finals, 81–76, with Heyman scoring 22 points, and adding 13 rebounds. In the East Regional final, Heyman (16 points, 10 rebounds, 3 assists) and the Blue Devils defeated Saint Joseph's University, 73–59, to advance to the Final Four.

Despite Heyman's 29 points and 12 rebounds in the semi-finals, the Blue Devils succumbed 94-75 to eventual national champion Loyola University Chicago (who had All-American Jerry Harkness). In the National third-place game, Heyman completed his college career when Duke defeated Oregon State (who had Heisman Trophy winner Terry Baker) 85-63. In this game, Heyman scored 22 points, and added seven rebounds. Art Heyman was also named MVP of the 1963 NCAA tournament, even though Duke finished third.

Heyman again won the plaudits of the sportswriters, winning the AP National Player of the Year award, the ACC Player of the Year award, and the Oscar Robertson Trophy.

Heyman averaged 25.1 points per game and scoring 1,984 points while at Duke University, which were both school records at that time. Heyman is one of three athletes in ACC History to have been elected unanimously to the All-ACC Men's Basketball team three times, along with David Thompson and Tyler Hansbrough.[6]

Professional career

Heyman's success in college led to him being selected first in the 1963 NBA Draft by the New York Knicks. During his first season with the team, he averaged 15.4 points per game and made the NBA All-Rookie Team.[7]

However, his mercurial temper and frequent outbursts saw his playing time with the Knicks decreased during his second year, and his scoring average dropped to 5.7 points per game. Heyman parted ways with New York in 1965, and after brief stints with the Cincinnati Royals and Philadelphia 76ers, he left the NBA for the American Basketball Association in 1967.

He played in the ABA for the next three seasons with the New Jersey Americans, Pittsburgh Pipers, Minnesota Pipers and Miami Floridians, winning a league championship with the Pittsburgh Pipers in 1968 as he averaged over 20 points a game.

Post-basketball career

Heyman retired from basketball in 1970 with 4,030 combined NBA/ABA points.

Heyman was inducted into the Duke Sports Hall of Fame and the Jewish Sports Hall of Fame, and his Duke jersey number #25 was retired in 1990.

In 1996, he opened Tracy J's Watering Hole in Manhattan, New York.[8][9]

Heyman died in Clermont, Florida on August 27, 2012.[10]

See also


  1. ^ Jewish Sports Stars: Athletic Heroes Past And Present - David J. Goldman - Google Books. Retrieved 2013-06-12. 
  2. ^ a b "Featherston: The Fight – Duke University Blue Devils". February 4, 1961. Retrieved January 11, 2011. 
  3. ^ "Duke's Red-hot And Blue Devil". CNN. February 27, 1961. Retrieved April 25, 2010. 
  4. ^ "Duke vs. UNC Basketball 1961". YouTube. February 4, 1961. Retrieved January 11, 2011. 
  5. ^ a b "Heyman, Art". Jews In Sports. June 24, 1941. Retrieved January 11, 2011. 
  6. ^ [1]
  7. ^ Yardley, William (August 30, 2012), "Art Heyman, Star at Duke, Dies at 71",  
  8. ^ "Interview with former Knick, Art Heyman". July 17, 2006. 
  9. ^ "Art Heyman, Testy Basketball Star". CNN. November 15, 1999. Retrieved April 25, 2010. 
  10. ^ 'New Hampshire Obituaries; Art Heyman''"'". Retrieved 2013-06-12. 

External links

  • Art Heyman on the Internet Movie Database
  • Duke Statistics
  • Art Heyman career statistics and information at
  • NBA/ABA statistics
  • N.Y. Times Obituary for Art Heyman
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