Miami Basketball Walk-On Earns Scholarship

By Amanda Borges
Assistant Digital Editor

CORAL GABLES, Fla. – University of Miami men’s basketball coach Jim Larrañaga has offered senior walk-on Justin Heller an athletic scholarship for the 2014 spring semester, the team announced Tuesday.

“Justin Heller is a very, very valuable part of our program; he has made a contribution to our success over the last three seasons,” said Larrañaga. “Whenever you have a young man who has such a great attitude, makes a total and unconditional commitment to helping the team, and carries himself in a first-class manner, you need to reward that if you can. This happens to be a year where we have not used one of our scholarships, so giving Justin a scholarship for the second semester is our way of thanking him for his loyalty and dedication to the team.”

Heller, from Boca Raton, Fla., has played in 18 games over three years, including 11 games during last year’s ACC Championship run.

“It’s a big honor to be given this scholarship and show that all of the time I’ve put in and how much I’ve been around the team has been rewarded,” said Heller. “I just try to have a positive attitude and try to make everybody better every day. It’s a great feeling. Everyone has congratulated me and is very happy for me.”

Heller played prep ball at West Boca Raton Community High School where he was among the top 30 3-point scorers in Palm Beach County in 2009-10.

“The things that Coach L said about me about attitude, commitment and class are the same things I feel about him and his staff ever since they arrived,” added Heller. “They have treated me better than I could have ever imagined and have made me feel like an important part of the team.”

The son of Neal Heller and Liz Heller, Justin has been named to the ACC Academic Honor Roll, Athletics Director Honor Roll and was a Book Buster at UM.

SOURCE: University of Miami Athletics

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