Brooke Heiman knew three personal milestones were in sight for the abbreviated 2021 basketball season, and the Indian Creek guard made sure to hit all three.
But beyond passing the 2,000-point mark for her career and becoming the leading scorer in both Indian Creek and Little 10 Conference history, she wanted to make sure her young team would be prepared for years to come.
“While getting the records I wanted to improve my team and know we may not be the best, but maybe help improve them for the years coming in their high school careers,” Heiman said. “So I tried passing the ball around when I could and getting people involved and helping anyone if they had any questions or anything on their minds they needed to talk about.”
Even facing a box-and-one most of the year Heiman averaged 25.9 points and 7.1 rebounds, finishing with a school and conference record 2,124 points for her career. She was named the Daily Chronicle 2021 Girls Basketball Player of the Year.
Indian Creek coach Paul Muchmore said Heiman definitely shined in the leadership department this year on a team full of freshmen and sophomores.
“This year especially, you watch some games, she did a really good job of finding her teammates that were open,” Muchmore said. “She was really good with the younger players. If they made a good pass to her and she scored off it, she made sure to say good pass. ... If they missed a layup she wouldn’t get down on them. I think that was the one thing I noticed with her leadership, she was really positive and just helped the girls along.”
The Timberwolves went 8-8 this year with just two seniors on the roster. And Muchmore said that Heiman faced a box-and-one or some other kind of “junk defense” focused on her at least 80% of the time.
“Every night she’s facing a team that’s just trying to stop her,” Muchmore said. “And she still averaged 25.9 points per game, which according to MaxPreps was No. 1 in the state in all four classes. And we’ve never had anything close to that.”
Heiman’s career started at Paw Paw, but the school eventually consolidated with Indian Creek. For the last three years of her career she played for Muchmore, Stephanie Crutcher and the Timberwolves athletic program.
“I’m thankful to have Muchmore and Crutcher at Indian Creek to coach me,” Heiman said. “Overall being at Paw Paw then moving to Indian Creek, I’m just grateful we consolidated, cause we probably wouldn’t have even had a girls basketball team. I’m glad we consolidated and I’m glad it was with Indian Creek, they treated me really well over there.”
Muchmore agreed that the timing of the consolidation worked out for both his program and for Heiman.
“It was perfect timing for the two schools to combine for us,” Muchmore said. “We were going through a little bit of a transition at the time. She brought in a person who could score, we needed a point guard. It was a perfect fit for her and us.”
Heiman will play next year for Aurora University.
“It kind of felt like home when I was there,” Heiman said. “It’s close to my house, which I like to be honest. I really like the coach so far, the team seems to play well together. I like how the team is coached and the environment.”
Muchmore said he thinks she’ll fit that system well.
“I think she’s perfect for Aurora,” Muchmore said. “She does such a good job with the ball in her hands and going to the basket strong, she’s such a good free-throw shooter.”
Heiman said it was a great season for her. Even though it was played under a unique situation - social distancing, masks on the court, and a shorter season as responded to the COVID-19 pandemic - Heiman said it was all worth it and she was beyond grateful for the chance to play.
“Before my senior year, I found out that I was going to be able to break all the records that I broke,” Heiman said. “I was really excited. But then with the COVID situation, it was like maybe we won’t have a season or it will be short if we do. I was definitely scared and nervous, and I was really sad at that point. But when I heard we were having a season I was so, so happy.”