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St. Augustine's

Former St. Aug's coach Heartley commanded respect

Posted June 27, 2014

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.

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  • nggeoteach Jun 28, 2014

    From Clayton to Raleigh this gentle man will fondly be remembered --- as well as his entire family --- for all he gave to us. Godspeed ~~~

  • Southern Gal Jun 28, 2014

    He was the patriarch of a very fine family, too. His wife Mrs Heartley was a school guidance councelor. As a middle school friend of one of his daughters, I remember being invited to their home. They were a very welcoming and gracious multi-generational family. Fond memories of this Southern family... :-)

  • Toddler10-21 Jun 28, 2014

    Gonna miss you coach/father!! RIP!

  • Jeanne Gunn Jun 27, 2014

    A great coach influences his players both on and off the court; Heartley certainly accomplished this measure of a coach and man.

  • vt94hokies Jun 27, 2014

    A well written article. He was one of the best; no doubt.

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