Brian P. Heaney- 1969

During the fall of 1964, Brian Patrick Heaney, a resident of Rockaway Beach, New York and a fonner member of the Ralph Tedesco-coached Bishop Laughlin High School basketball squad located in Brooklyn, enrolled at Acadia and quickly fell under the influence of basketball coach Stu Aberdeen.

Entering Acadia following the exciting and successful Warren Sutton and Richie Spears era in which Coach Aberdeen had developed the Axemen program to a position of respect throughout Canada and the eastern United States, Heaney became part of the ’64-’65 Axemen team that included Dave Rode, Andy Kranack, Steve Konchalski, Peter Pike, Jim Clark, Damon Pouyat, Pete Travers and Ward White.

By Christmas of that academic year, Heaney had earned a starting position on the squad. In only his second game as a starter he netted 28 points. In a subsequent encounter at the K.C.A. gym in Kentville, he scored fifteen points in the last twelve minutes, giving the Axemen a one-point victory and a first place finish in the Conference.

Qualifying for play at the Nationals following a victory over St. F.X., Heaney and his teammates at the St. Pat’s gymnasium in Halifax defeated the Carleton Ravens in their opening game. With a six-point victory over the powerful University of Windsor squad, the Axemen won their first National title and Heaney, a sixteen-point scorer in the dramatic finale, was named to the All-Canadian team.

In his sophomore-season, Heaney and his Aberdeen-directed teammates defeated Carleton for consolation honours at the Nationals.

Personally, he repeated as an All-Canadian, finished fourth in Conference scoring, averaged 18.9 points per game, established an Acadia record by shooting 17-for-17 at the foul line and emerged as the University’s Male Athlete-of-the- Year.

During the ’66-’67 season, Brian P. Heaney and former Conference stars Spears, Rode, Kranack and Peter Simmonds performed for the senior Halifax Schooners, a team that travelled four times to the United States for competition against strong American teams.

During the ’67-’68 season, the Gib Chapman-coached Axemen finished the season with eight wins in twelve starts while Heaney enjoyed a most productive campaign. By the season’s mid-point he had begun to shatter the then-existing Axemen scoring records. These included: most points in one season (580); most points in one game (74); most field goals in one contest (28); most free throw in a single game (18); best free throw percentage for one season (81.6) and best scoring average for one season (34.1). Needless to say, in subsequent years he was to eclipse several of these best-ever performances.

In addition, this gifted New York State scoring sensation was again voted All-Canadian and easily captured the Atlantic Conference scoring crown. During his final season as an Axeman, Heaney and an all-star cast of performers finished Conference play with a 12-0 record. At the Nationals, however, they lost to archrivals Windsor, 76-73 in semi-final play, while dropping a verdict to the University of Alberta in the consolation finals.

A climax to that season had occurred on February 12th, 1969 as the Axemen defeated St. Mary’s on “Brian Heaney Night” to clinch the Conference title. For the Axemen’s all-time scoring champ and holder of eight team records, a very fitting farewell to a fabulous intercollegiate career.

Following graduation from Acadia, Heaney became the first CIAU performer to make basketball’s “Big Time” as he alternated the ’69-70 season between the N.B.A.’s Baltimore Bullets and the Eastern League’s Sunbury Mercs. Finishing the campaign as a Bullet, he amassed a total of thirty points, including an eight-point game against the Phoenix Suns and a seven point performance against the Philadelphia 76’ers.

In subsequent seasons Brian Heaney enjoyed tremendous success as a basketball coach. For example, following a one-year stint as Head Coach of his alma mater Bishop Laughlin High School team, he guided the 72-73 St. Mary’s Huskies to be National basketball champions, thus becoming the first individual to win a CIAU title as both a player and a coach.

During the 75-76 season, he coached the Canadian Women’s Basketball squad to a winning season while competing in all three of the world’s major championships.

It is indeed an honour to welcome back to Acadia for induction to the Sports Hall of Fame a gentleman whom the CIAU has named All-Canadian , both as a player and a coach, Mr. Brian Heaney.