Former St. Aug's coach Heartley commanded respect
Posted June 27
The measure of a man sometimes depends on perspective.
To those who watched Harvey Heartley coach, most saw him as a winner. He was St. Augustine’s all-time coaching king.
“Once a champion, always a champion.”
To others, Hearley was an ambassador, constantly pushing for furthered recognition of the CIAA.
“Probably one of the greatest influences in Raleigh in basketball,” said Will Cooper, who played for Heartley at Ligon High School.
To those who knew him closest, he was a father-figure.
“One of the greatest men, along with my father, that I’ve ever known.” said James ‘Twiggy’ Sanders, also a former player of Heartley’s at Ligon High School.
His life lessons surpassed any game-plans.
“He always stressed to us the ‘five P’s,’” said Anthony Boggan, who played for Heartley at St. Augustine’s. “The ‘five P’s’ was proud preparation prevents poor performance, and I took that in life to whatever I chose to do after I played basketball. So I stuck with his philosophy.”
“First thing, he’d walk in there, he said to me, I’ll always remember, ‘Isah, stay out of the corner,’” said Isah Umar, a former St. Augustine’s player. “In the beginning, I didn’t understand what that means, but later, I get to understand it. When you play basketball, there are some places you don’t want to be on the court. And off the court, there are some corners that he don’t want you to be there.”
Today, those of all different perspectives pay their final respects to a man who commanded so much respect from every viewpoint possible.
“He’s just going to be sorely missed,” said Sanders.