It’s a good thing Sadie Heckman loves basketball because her first season at Point Loma High was less than thrilling.
Though Heckman led the Pointers in scoring as a freshman, her team finished with a dismal 3-19 record, and she is far more concerned about winning than her own statistics.
“That was disappointing that we couldn’t pull out a few of those close games freshman year,” said Heckman. “It was my first losing season ever.”
She also suffered a broken thumb that year, costing her a few games.
“It was hard to keep my spirit up just sitting there,” she said. “I’d never sat the bench.
“We wanted people on campus to take us seriously as a team and we won three games.”
Heckman averaged 16.2 points a game as a ninth-grader.
“I was so small as a freshman,” she said.
Now a 5-foot-9 senior, Heckman is playing for her third coach at Point Loma in Curtis Norwood.
The first thing Norwood did when he took over last season was switch Heckman from point guard to shooting guard.
“She’s an assassin as a scorer,” Norwood said. “She could score in her sleep. She was hesitant to take more shots at first.”
Eventually, Heckman grew comfortable with her new assignment and so did her teammates.
After averaging 21 points a game as a junior, Heckman is averaging 20.8 points this season to go with 2.6 rebounds, 4.1 steals and 2.1 assists for a team that is 14-2 overall and leading the City League with a 4-0 record.
“I have to admit I like scoring,” she said. “I don’t mind coach giving me extra touches.”
Heckman, who has scored 1,599 career points as a Pointer, has been around basketball her entire life.
Her father, Nate, used to coach with the San Diego Sol club team, so she’s been a gym rat since second grade.
She barely gave another sport a look, preferring to go to the gym with dad or just shoot hoops in the backyard or on the blacktop somewhere.
“Basketball is so much fun, I wouldn’t want to play another sport,” Heckman said. “It was the competitiveness of the game I liked.
“I’ve grown up with a lot of my friends playing for Sol.
“I would shoot hoops in the backyard until my parents would yell at me to come in late at night.
“I could barely see anything, but I was not ready to stop for the night.”
With Senior Night and the conclusion of the season closing in on her, the New Jersey native is still in the midst of the stressful search for the best college fit.
Her preference is to remain in California. She has drawn interest from Claremont McKenna.
UC San Diego is also interested. Heckman is considering Cal, too.
Heckman, a member of the U-T All-Academic Team, wants to major in biology with an eye toward marine research.
“I want to help the planet,” she said. “With everything being done to the environment these days, it’s a big problem.”
While Heckman said she will miss her friends and teammates, most of whom she’s known since elementary school, there is one thing the Point Loma resident won’t miss.
“We live near the airport,” Heckman said. “I won’t miss all that noise.”