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Helped lead Duke to its first NCAA Final Four in school history

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  1. keorest

    keorest New Member

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    DURHAM, N.C.— Over the summer, the Blue Devils have been catching up with Duke women s basketball alumnae to see what they have been up to since leaving Durham. Up next is 1999 graduate one of the best point guards to wear a Duke jersey Hilary Howard Heieck. Heieck was a two time All ACC selection as a junior and senior and helped lead Duke to its first NCAA Final Four in school history. She graduated as the all time assist leader in Blue Devil history with 533 dishes.


    Since graduating from Duke, what have you been up to?
    I played professionally in Sweden before an ankle injury ended my career. Since then I received my master’s Jabari Parker Jersey degree in communication and have been working in marketing for the past 15 years, currently as a consultant for The Pebble Beach Company. In the past five years, I’ve also started my own company, Triple H Communications, focusing on communications training and brand building for student athletes. And most importantly, Adam and I married in 2008 and we have two children https://www.dukebasketballjerseystore.com/brennan-besser-jersey-c-16.html, Landry 5 and Beckham 8 months .



    The Duke women’s basketball team had only advanced to the NCAA Tournament twice before you arrived on campus. What drew you to be a Blue Devil?
    My sister and my dad both went to Duke and my parents are from North Carolina so I grew up visiting campus and enjoyed summers with my grandparents near Pinehurst. I also really liked the challenge of helping build a successful program. I was recruited by Connecticut and other schools that were established but I knew Duke could contend for championships in the future and I wanted to be a part of that. The academics and the campus made the decision a no brainer; I probably could have skipped the recruiting process.

    Over your four years Austin Rivers Jersey, the team advanced to the NCAA Tournament each time and ended with a NCAA Elite Eight and NCAA Final Four appearance. What was it like upsetting Tennessee and going to San Jose for the NCAA Final Four?
    We knew we could beat the best but we hadn’t done it yet, and to reach the Final Four by upsetting the three time defending national champions was really special. It was certainly a childhood dream of mine and something I rehearsed in the driveway countless times. We were the first Duke women’s team to ever make a Final Four making the milestone even more meaningful. And I’ll always distinctly remember riding the bus to the national championship game and seeing the fans lining the street outside of the arena.


    After opening the season with three losses over the first four games in 1998 99, what changed with that team during the season to help them accomplish so much?
    We had so much talent and were ranked 2 or 3 in the country but were out of synch for some reason. I remember being embarrassed by how we started. We were a senior laden team and just decided we all needed to play better and be more committed or our season could go south quickly. I also remember a lot of extra running and yelling.

    Have you been able to keep in touch with many former teammates/coaches?
    Yes, I recently saw Naz Medhanie and Payton Black and spoke to Jen Scanlon and Takisha Jones, and keep in touch with countless other teammates and coaches. Last summer I was able to spend quality time with Joanne Boyle, who was our assistant coach. I loved everything about Duke but my teammates made the experience so special.

    Living on the west coast, do you get a chance to follow the Blue Devils much these days?
    Yes, definitely. I watch the games and March Madness will always be an exciting and intense time in our house. The last two years I’ve worked with the Duke team focusing on media and communications training, it has been a really nice way to stay connected to the program and get to know the student athletes.

    When looking back on your days at Duke, what are some of your favorite memories?
    Lot of laughter, Takisha always kept us laughing. Our graduating class was really close and we had so much fun together and still remain good friends. Several of us were nervous before our first morning workout as freshmen and the idea of being somewhere at 5 00 am seemed daunting so we decided to sleep in the locker room to avoid being late. That brilliant idea didn’t work out so well because we barely slept and the seniors arrived early realizing what we had done and never let us live it down.
    After exams each year we rented a house in Myrtle Beach as a team and would celebrate the end of the school year. Duke students took over Myrtle for several days.

    Have you developed any new hobbies, etc., that you are involved with these days?
    Well, I can’t say I have any new hobbies with two young kids but I enjoy running. We live near the water and when I have a free moment I try to head outside for a run. My runs are at a different pace and intensity than when we ran the Duke golf course timed during preseason but I love it. Since college I’ve played a lot of golf and my husband and I have travelled but currently we are balancing work and family time and enjoying experiencing new things with our kids.



    How has a Duke degree helped you?
    The degree has opened many doors for me. The Duke network is so supportive; I got my last job in part because of a connection I made when I was in college. Pac 12 Networks was run by Gary Stevenson, a very successful Duke graduate https://www.dukebasketballjerseystore.com/kyrie-irving-jersey-c-19.html, and he interviewed me and supported my hiring to a marketing team that helped launched the network. It was a nice career move that was made possible by my Duke degree. I will always be proud of my connection with the school.
     

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