Tuesday, December 28th, 2010
By Margie Wuebker
Celina girl sinks shots to win competitions
CELINA - Heather Heiby remembers tagging along behind her older brother and sister when they went outside to shoot hoops.
The Celina Middle School seventh-grader apparently picked up a lot of pointers along the way judging from the trophies that decorate the bedroom of her Meadowview Drive home.
Heiby, who turns 13 next month, reaches for an impressive trophy featuring a basketball at its pinnacle. The award identifies her as the Knights of Columbus international free throw champion.
This marks her second year of participation in the K of C program. She advanced from local to state competition last year, finishing two baskets short of a state title in her age group. Not too shabby for a rookie.
Heiby, the daughter of Bart and Vicki Heiby, set out to do better this year. Participants shoot 15 free throws at the local level hosted by Celina K of C Council 1800 and 25 each at the district, regional and state level.
"I wasn't worried until the last girl shot 23 out of 25 free throws at the state level," she admitted with a smile. "I knew I had to stay relaxed. If you get nervous, you wind up missing shots."
She wound up claiming the trophy with 24 out of 25 successful shots.
Winners learned the combined scores from all levels of the competition would advance to the international committee for consideration. Heiby admits she nearly forgot about the matter until a letter arrived in the mail several months later.
With 84 out of 90 free throws made, she had the highest percentage to take the international title and trophy in her age group.
"Basketball has been an important part of my life for a long time," Heiby said. "As a kid, I tagged along with my brother (18-year-old Hayden) and my sister (15-year-old Hilleary). They always let me play, and I went to all my sister's practices.
Heiby is a point guard on the junior high team, which now has an 8-0 record.
"We've been playing together since fourth grade," she said of her team. "We know what each other is thinking out there on the floor."
Heiby has no time to rest with another round of K of C free throw action next year. With several years of eligibility remaining, her dad might have to add another trophy shelf in her bedroom.
The seventh-grader also enjoys soccer and softball - activities that keep her active and outdoors.
"Someday I would like to be a teacher and coach," she said. "A good teacher and a good coach can make all the difference."
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