‘Hawaii is like a fantasy land’, Wisconsin prep standout Brock Heffner aims to capture the imagination of ‘Bows Basketball faithful

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Brock Heffner

Already looking forward to sending trademark Hawaii postcards to friends and family back home in Wisconsin, prep basketball standout Brock Heffner is hoping to be part of solution in the University of Hawaii’s return to the postseason.

The Rainbow Warriors landed the commitment from the the 6-foot-8 forward on Thursday.

“It all started when coach CG (Chris Gerlufsen) texted me on Twitter and to be honest with you, I’m from Wisconsin, so the first thing I did was tell my friends that wow, Hawaii texted me. To us Hawaii is like a fantasy land in a way. It’s just beautiful. We all have high, good thoughts about it,” Heffner told KHON2 Sports Director Rob DeMello. “I was definitely excited from the start. I thought about it and I told him I could be in paradise playing basketball, doing what I love so that sounds like a great four years.”

As a senior at Grafton High School, the forward averaged 22 points and nine rebounds per game on his way to being named a All-North Shore Conference first team selection. In August of 2020, Heffner initially committed to IUPUI but later de-committed. The opportunity to play in the 50th state was one that captured the imagination of the athletic two-way standout who very much wants to be part of the team that returns UH to the postseason for the first time since reaching the second round of the NCAA Tournament five years ago.

“I met the staff on a zoom call with my parents when I was in Florida for spring break and they showed me a tour, it was awesome. I love the role that they want me playing the stretch four. I know they use their fours a lot. Obviously, I watched 2015-16 beat Jalen Brown and that was awesome against California, I’m just really excited,” said Heffner. “From the start there was always something that had my heart where I felt that I wanted to play and another huge thing was that I thought about on a personal level was that I have the opportunity because you guys don’t have a pro sport obviously so basketball and football are pretty big. So I thought about it and at this young of an age I have a high opportunity to satisfy the fans. I know the fans are awesome and I just really want to have that pressure on me to to put on for the state.”

Heffner, brings confidence to the start of a new basketball chapter having already overcome adversity. Following his freshman season of 2018, he required surgery to his left knee after multiple dislocations which he played through for months. Following rehab he returned for the 2019 summer season and in his return to Grafton, exploded onto the scene by posting 17 points and 7 rebounds per outing as a junior before adding five points and two boards to that average in his senior season.

“To be honest with you, I’m just going to be real. It all started freshman and sophomore year, like I didn’t have much looks in the state of Wisconsin. I took that personal to be honest with you. Having my leg surgery there was doubt that I would never play college basketball, but once I got the surgery done, me, my trainer, my coaches, the ultimate goal was to play division one and ever since coming back from my injury I always had the chip on my shoulder that I can play and I can compete. It was all just a mindset. I consider myself tough so I just worked through it and I’m really blessed to be in this situation. That was definitely a learning lesson for me.”

Heffner is the second player to commit to the Rainbow Warriors for the 2021-22 season following former Longwood University All-Big South Conference point guard Juan Munoz.

The National Letter of Intent signing period for Division-I basketball begins on April 14.

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