First Name: Brian
Last Name: Heaney
Sport: Basketball
Inductee Type: Athlete
Year Inducted: 2009
Home Town: New York City, USA
County: Outside Nova Scotia

Brian Heaney may very well be the greatest basketball player ever produced in Atlantic University Sport. Forty years after he starred at Acadia University, he is still the only player who has made it to the NBA from this conference. From Rockaway Beach, New York, to Nova Scotia is the quick story of basketball great Brian Heaney. Rockaway Beach is where Heaney learned the game of basketball. On many summer days, on a single court with only one basket, the game was three-on-three. Literally hundreds waited to take on the winning team. With long line-ups the way you learned to play was simple. Win and stay on the court. Heaney didn’t lose too often.

Coach Stu Aberdeen brought Brian to Acadia, where he held all eight school scoring records at one time and many were league and national records, too. The 6’2″ guard helped the Axemen win a national championship in 1965, plus two other conference championships, was an all-Canadian twice and three-time first-team all-AUS. He still holds the conference single-game scoring record of 74 points, accomplished against Mount Allison on February 17, 1968. That year, he averaged 34.1 points per game, still second highest ever in the CIS.

Drafted in 1969 by the NBA’s Baltimore Bullets, Brian was the first and only Atlantic Conference player to make the top league in the world. Admitting he was close to the last player on the bench, he remained with the Bullets for the entire 1969-70 season. He scored his first pro basket against the Lakers at the Los Angeles Forum, played against eventual champions the New York Knicks in the league semi-finals, and faced Hall-of-Famers such as Bill Bradley, Elgin Baylor, Jerry West, John Havlicek, and Walt Frazier, while practicing daily with Earl Monroe.

His professional and playing career ended with a stellar year in the Eastern Basketball Association in 1970-71, a league one stop below the NBA. He finished in the top 10 in scoring with a 19.1 points-per-game average, was third in assists at 4.6 per game and was considered one of the top guards in the nine-team league filled with All-Americans and NBA hopefuls. Brian returned to Nova Scotia in 1971 as coach of Saint Mary’s Huskies with whom he won CIS titles in 1973, 1978 and 1979. He coached Canada’s Women’s team at the Pan American and Olympic Games and world championships. He has a successful business career, has been a television analyst with TSN, is a member of Acadian and Saint Mary’s Sport Halls of Fame, the Canadian Basketball Hall of Fame, and the Nova Scotia Sport Hall of Fame with the Acadia 1965 team and Saint Mary’s 1973 team. Brian is now the athletic director at his alma mater.


• Born: Rockaway Beach, NY
• Held 8 All-time Acadia Scoring Record at One Time
• 3 CIAU and 1 Men’s Senior Tournament All-Star
• Acadia Athlete of the Year 1966 and 1969
• Hold All-time AUS Single Game Scoring Record, 74
• National title as player with 1965 Acadia team
• Averaged 34.1 ppg in 1968
• Played in NBA with Baltimore Bullets 1969-70
• Top 10 Scorer in Eastern Pro League 1971
• Third in assists 1971
• 3 National titles as coach: 1973, ’78 & ’79 (SMU)
• Member Acadia Sport Hall of Fame Team & Individual
• Saint Mary’s Uni Sport Hall of Fame Team and Coach
• NS Sport Hall of Fame Athlete, Team and Coach
• Canadian Basketball Hall of Fame Athlete and Coach