Former #1 Overall Draft Pick Art Heyman Dead At 71

by Micah Hart

Art Heyman, chosen by the Knicks as the #1 overall selection in the 1963 NBA Draft, died Monday at the age of 71.

Heyman played eight seasons in the NBA and ABA, including stints with the Knicks, Cincinnati Royals, Philadelphia 76ers, Pittsburgh Pipers and Miami Floridians. He retired in 1970 with career totals of 4,030 points, 1,461 rebounds and 859 assists.

Heyman was most well-known for putting Duke University on the basketball map. He was a three-time All-American at the school and led the Blue Devils to the 1963 Final Four, the first in school history. He was named 1963 NCAA Player of the Year and was named the Most Outstanding Player at the Final Four despite not playing on the title-winning team.

He also played a crucial role in the early development in the Duke-North Carolina basketball rivalry.

From the Sporting News:

[Heyman] also was involved in perhaps the most infamous incident in the Duke-North Carolina history, a moment that helped forge perhaps the game’s best rivalry. Heyman committed a hard foul in the Feb. 4, 1961 game against North Carolina’s Larry Brown, who reciprocated by punching Heyman and sparking a benches clearing brawl.

Duke and Team USA basketball coach Mike Krzyzewksi remembered Heyman fondly:

“Art Heyman was a wonderful player, and an idol to many of us who were playing basketball in the 1960s,” Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said in a statement. “Obviously, he had a huge impact on Duke basketball and was truly one of the elite players to ever wear a Blue Devil uniform.

“When I was fortunate to become the Duke head coach, my admiration for Art blossomed into a great friendship that lasted for more than 30 years. Art will be missed by all of us in the Duke Basketball family.”

H/T Sporting News


  1. albert feldstein says:

    i am a70 year old senior that was a aquaintance of art heyman;would you e-mail when there is a cause of death what happened to him 71 years old is not that old was he sick please let me know