Mr. Underrated: Will Heimbrodt (Seattle U)
One of the most unique things about coaching & training players at the high school level, is being a witness to so many great journeys. Witnessing San Rafael Native Will Heimbrodt’s journey has been one of the most remarkable moments of my coaching career. He is a high character student-athlete who was also able to maintain a 3.8 GPA in high school. From the first time he came to our program, to going through the recruiting process, and now seeing him at the division 1 level, Heimbrodt has always had the determination to keep getting better daily.
The story with myself and Heimbrodt started during the pandemic, as another former Rampage player named Alex Miazga (Lane College) told me about a 6’7’ kid from San Rafael that was interested in playing for us. I was intrigued when Alex first informed me about him due to his height, but I had no idea how good he was yet. It was the spring of 2021, and my 17u team had just wrapped up a Made Hoops tournament in Southern California. We were two weeks away from going to Atlanta, Georgia for a showcase. College coaches weren’t allowed to recruit in person at the time due to the pandemic, but they were watching the games on live streams. We were working hard to be seen because we had San Jose State Guard Myron Amey at the time, who was unsigned and had just finished a postgrad year at Scotland Prep. I can remember Alex showing me a highlight of Heimbrodt and right away I seen the athleticism and talent he had.
Looking back at Heimbrodt’s first practice with us, it’s crazy to think how many great players we had in one gym who were all unknown at the time. Will Heimbrodt (Seattle U), Myron Amey (San Jose State), Devin Carson (Los Medanos College), Mikey Pierce (Contra Costa College, and Jevon Blackmore (Lane College) were just some of the players all in the gym that day. Today all of these players are thriving at their level in college, but back then not too many people knew who they were. Team Rampage is known today for finding hidden gems and Heimbrodt would become one of the main reasons we earned this reputation. While playing with us, Heimbrodt was able to obtain four Division 2 offers his junior year, and four Division 1 offers as an Unsigned Senior heading into his postgrad year. He had so much success with us that the Shoe Deal teams would start to notice his talents, and even tried to get him to play with them.
“I’m super happy that I made the decision to play for an independent program in Team Rampage. It was a no brainer staying with the program going into my final session of AAU. I was given freedom and attention I never would have had at a shoe deal team. On top of that, coach Bracy put in countless hours working me out and contacting coaches to give me more exposure”.
Heimbrodt also talked about his overall high school experience, and how he had a few setbacks due to injuries.
“I had a really fun high school career. I played with a great group of guys and for a coach who means a lot to me. With that being said, I didn’t understand what it took to be great in the sport. Because of that, I wasn’t getting in the hours I should have on the court and in the weight room. As a result, I missed a significant portion of each of my first two years playing varsity basketball with ankle injuries. During my senior year, I stayed healthy, and despite a few bad stretches was able to have a solid year. The biggest benefit of my high school career was developing my knowledge of the game under coach Tovani. The instincts and habits I created under his coaching have made the transition to the next level much easier”.
With the late development of his game and how good of a student he was, Heimbrodt was able to get his first Division 1 offer from Seattle U. He would eventually receive more division 1 offers from Cal Poly, American, Pepperdine, and even UC San Diego wanted him fresh out of high school as a 2022 graduate. These offers & interest would all come within a three month span. Despite the recruiting frenzy Heimbrodt had, he chose to stick with the school that believed in him and offered him first.
“I remember going up to Seattle in the summer of 2021 for their elite camp. After that, it was the number one school on my list. The last two years have been the best seasons in decades, and having the opportunity to contribute to a conference championship is everything I could have wished for. The coaching staff and players create a competitive environment for their players to thrive”.
Seattle U has also had a history of recruiting Bay Area players in the recent years. The most known recruit in recent years was another Marin County prospect, San Diego State Point Guard Darrion Trammell. Trammell started at Seattle U before transferring to San Diego State and leading them to the national championship game. Trammell was one of the best players in the conference while at Seattle U, and I am optimistic that Heimbrodt will one day do the same. However, it will have to wait another year as he is currently redshirting due to injuries leading up to the start of the season.
“Redshirting wasn’t part of our plan coming into my freshman year, but an injury before summer had me out for the first four months of the season. Getting healthy right before our first game had me in a tough position so we decided that this year would be better spent developing my body for next year. I’ve been having a good experience so far, and I’m excited to show my improvement next year”.
The unique thing about the journey is sometimes we can walk down familiar paths even when we are making progress. Heimbrodt has dealt with injuries before but the difference between now and high school, is that he understands what it takes to be great. He is currently working on developing his game, as well as his body to be ready for his freshman season next year. Another key note is that the team will be losing 3 seniors and have 6 juniors on the roster currently. Heimbrodt will get his opportunity to prove himself at this level, and we believe he will do well.