|No. 15 – Yeşilgiresun Belediye|
|League||Turkish Basketball Second League|
June 26, 1986 |
|Listed height||6 ft 11 in (211 cm)|
|Listed weight||238 lb (108 kg)|
|High school||Clarkston (Clarkston, Washington)|
|NBA draft||2009 / Undrafted|
|Pro playing career||2009–present|
The 6-foot 11 inch (2.11 m) forward came to the Gonzaga Bulldogs in 2004 after a high school career in Clarkston, Washington that saw him named the state's Class 3A Player of the Year for three consecutive years. He sat out the 2004-05 season as a redshirt. Coach Mark Few and the Bulldogs counted on Heytvelt to be a major contributor in his freshman season of eligibility in 2005-06 as part of the supporting cast behind superstar Adam Morrison, but he missed most of the season due to a broken ankle suffered in the Maui Invitational.
In the 2006-07 season, he emerged as a potential star, becoming the team's second-leading scorer with 15.5 per game (behind Derek Raivio), top rebounder (7.7 per game), and leading shot-blocker (1.7 per game). The best game of his career came on February 26, 2009 against Santa Clara, when he scored 29 points and grabbed 9 rebounds. However, in what was effectively his freshman year as a player, there were several games in which he made only sporadic impact.
On February 9, 2007, Heytvelt and teammate Theo Davis, who was redshirting his freshman season due to injuries, were stopped by police in Cheney, Washington. The officers noticed that one of Heytvelt's tail lights was broken. The officers searched the car, and found what was later confirmed to be marijuana and psychedelic mushrooms. Both were arrested, and shortly thereafter indefinitely suspended from the team. Heytvelt was soon charged with felony possession of a controlled substance; under Washington law, possession of any amount of psychedelic mushrooms is a Class C felony. The arrests, the first in recent years involving Gonzaga basketball players, were heavily covered in the school's home city of Spokane, with one local TV station devoting the first 11 minutes of its Saturday evening newscast to the arrests.
Heytvelt's suspension was a major blow to a Gonzaga team that was already suffering from a subpar season, at least by its recent standards, even though the Bulldogs had beaten strong teams in Texas, North Carolina, and Stanford. During Heytvelt's suspension, the Zags lost their first home game in nearly four years and their first ever in their current home, McCarthey Athletic Center, to Santa Clara. The loss also marked the first time since the 1999-2000 season that the Zags had lost three West Coast Conference games. They then lost an overtime heartbreaker to top-10 Memphis at the Spokane Arena. This game gave the Zags 10 losses for the first time since 1997-98, the last season to date in which they failed to make the NCAA tournament.
The Zags backed into the WCC regular-season title after Santa Clara lost its last two conference games, but it had been widely thought that they would have to win the conference tournament to receive an NCAA bid. With Heytvelt still suspended, they avenged their loss to Santa Clara in the WCC final and earned the WCC's automatic berth in the 2007 tournament. The Zags would go on to lose to Indiana in the first round of the NCAA tournament.
On March 12, 2007, Heytvelt entered a not guilty plea to the charges, and in a deal with prosecutors, asked to be placed into a diversion program. The diversion program was long available in Spokane County for property crimes, but Heytvelt was the first person in Spokane County admitted to the diversion program on a drug possession charge. The program is now widely available to persons with minor drug charges so long as they do not need substance abuse treatment.
As he was a first-time offender, the deal was accepted on the condition he passes regular drug testing. Heytvelt will be required to perform 240 hours of community service, undergo random drug screening, and commit no crimes in the following year. If he successfully completes the program, the charges will be dropped. According to Few, both Heytvelt and Davis continued to attend classes after the suspension.
Heytvelt and Davis were reinstated to the team on October 12, 2007. At a news conference announcing the reinstatement, Few revealed that he had initially opposed bringing back the two players, but was swayed by the efforts both players made at rehabilitation. Heytvelt served about 60 hours more community service than his plea agreement required.
Following his senior season with Gonzaga in 2008-09, he declared for the 2009 NBA Draft, where he went undrafted. In 2009 Heytvelt played for the Washington Wizards in the NBA Summer League. For his first pro season, he went to Turkey to play for Oyak Renault.
He then returned in the summer 2013 to Spokane, WA, where he married his current wife, Claire Heytvelt. He has since gone back overseas to continue his contract in Turkey.
Notes and references
- "2007 Gonzaga Basketball Summer Prospectus: 2008 Bulldogs Roster". Gonzaga University Athletics. Retrieved August 1, 2007.
- "Drug bust shakes Gonzaga and Spokane". Associated Press. February 15, 2007.
- "2007 Gonzaga University Men's Basketball Statistics" (PDF). Gonzaga University. Retrieved March 5, 2007.
- "Heytvelt charged with felony drug possession". Associated Press. February 20, 2007.
- "Gonzaga basketball players arrested in Cheney". Associated Press. February 10, 2007.
- Glockner, Andy (March 2, 2007). "Drive to 65: Bubble fans unite to root on Winthrop's Eagles". ESPN.
- "Gonzaga sees nation-longest 50-game home win streak crushed". Associated Press. February 13, 2007.
- "Douglas-Roberts gives Memphis edge in OT, wins 15th straight". Associated Press. February 17, 2007.
- "Gonzaga continues streak in WCC tourney, downs Santa Clara". Associated Press. March 5, 2007.
- "Hoosiers avenge loss, snap Zags' NCAA opener streak". Associated Press. March 15, 2007.
- Associated Press (March 13, 2007). "Gonzaga center Josh Heytvelt pleads not guilty to drug charge". ESPN.com.
- Associated Press (October 12, 2007). "Gonzaga reinstates Heytvelt, Davis eight months after drug arrests". ESPN.com. Retrieved October 15, 2007.
- ROMA re-signs Heytvelt, releases Hutson
- CONCLUSO CONGIUNTAMENTE IL RAPPORTO CON JOSH HEYTVELT (Italian)
- JOSH HEYTVELT NOVA ČETVORKA U MOMČADI MRAVA (Croatian)
- (Turkish) Josh Heytvelt Tofaş'ta!