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For a relatively youthful sport, college basketball has been asked to survive an indecent number of ups and downs. The downs have been bad enough—two gambling scandals within a decade, a scattering of crooked officials, even coaches who eat towels—but the real threat has been the ups. Particularly the 6-foot-10-and-ups. Well, basketball is basketball and progress is progress, and what with antibiotics and modern nutrition, boys are going to grow taller and taller even if you put bricks on their heads. Lamentable as it may be, the sub-6-foot All-America has about gone the way of the 50� crew cut, his place taken by a young man capable of looking a giraffe straight in the eye. In the season of 1962-63, however, there is an intriguing exception to the trend: the little man has returned and, temporarily at least, is going to dominate the game. The only difference is that the little man in basketball is now 6 feet 5 and combines the speed of an antelope with the muscles of a moose.
Because he is capable of retaining the skills of a superb athlete at this height, give or take an inch to either side, he is a far better all-round player than either of the extremes. He can drive and shoot and feed and rebound, combining the classic mobility and cleverness of the backcourt man with the size and strength needed to operate inside. The new season ahead is going to be blessed with an abundance of the type, and they are going to dominate both the headlines and the game. Among the very best of them are the player on this week's cover—Cotton Nash, who could lead Kentucky back to the top—and those on the following pages: West Virginia's brilliant Rod Thorn; Bill Bradley of Princeton, the most promising Ivy Leaguer in 15 years; Ron Bonham, top scorer for National Champion Cincinnati; and the others. But the most sensational of all is the determined young man on the opposite page. His name is Arthur Heyman. He plays basketball for Duke. And boy, how Arthur Heyman plays basketball!
Heyman is a senior now and already a legend along that basketball-dizzy stretch of North Carolina known as Tobacco Road. In his first three years at Durham he was 1) slugged so hard by an opposing player that five stitches had to be taken inside his mouth, 2) made the focal point of the most spectacular riot in the history of the Atlantic Coast Conference and 3) hauled into court by a fellow student following a spot of fisticuffs in a dormitory hall. On the other hand, Heyman once stripped off his sweat suit after a game and gave it to a starry-eyed tyke who was only hoping to touch the hero's hand. He devotes a great deal of time to coaching youngsters on the Durham playgrounds, and it was Heyman who saw that the Duke basketball manager had a cake and a party on his birthday. "He is the only athlete we have ever had at Duke," says Red Lewis, the business manager of athletics, "who has never failed to come by my office at the end of a term to say goodby to me and to thank me for what I have done for him. And, Lord knows, I have done little enough." Whether Art Heyman is Sir Galahad with a number on his back or a blood brother to Mack the Knife seems to depend upon which side of Tobacco Road you stand.
Wherever you stand, Heyman, at first glance, does not look much like a basketball player. With his close-cropped black hair, big jaw and large, happy grin, he resembles an oversized Jerry Lewis. He is slightly pigeon-toed and seldom bothers to pick up his size 14 feet when he walks, preferring to shuffle along instead. He also tilts forward from the pelvis, which makes his rump stick out. "The first time I saw him," says Duke Coach Vic Bubas, "I wasn't so much concerned over his basketball ability as whether or not he was going to fall down."
Heyman never falls down, nor does anyone push him down, either. Despite his sometimes comical appearance, he is a sturdy boy, 6 feet 5 inches tall and 205 pounds, with very good shoulders, strong legs and huge, powerful hands. He is also the fastest man on the Duke team. With this formidable physical equipment and a brain whetted on a thousand basketball courts, Heyman has developed an approach to the game stripped of all but essentials, as basic as a truck going downhill. You have this round ball, see, and you want to put it through that round rim up there. So Heyman puts the ball through the rim. He may run over a few people to get there and, if they persist in hanging on, he may put them through the rim along with the ball. One way or another, he makes his points. In two years of varsity competition, interrupted once by suspension and again by a sprained ankle, he has made 1,237 of them, some of them in dramatic clusters that turn a basketball game into a furious, one-man rampage.
"What sets Art apart," says Bubas, "is his aggressiveness and his strength. He's a great driver. This is what he does best. He's so quick and fast for his size that one man doesn't have a chance against him. And he's so strong that you can't take the ball away from him. He doesn't look all that strong. Where he gets it, I don't know. I guess it's just something inside." Heyman is far more than just a scorer, however. He has great instinct with passes and is easily the team leader in assists. He can play anywhere—forward, guard, even the pivot—and for two years he has been Duke's leading rebounder.
As a sophomore Heyman joined four Duke seniors—more accurately, the seniors joined Art—and, although they nicknamed him The Pest, they were more than happy to have him around. His 629 points—eighth best in the nation—led them to a 22-6 record. Last year he hit 39 against South Carolina, 38 against Maryland and 36 against Penn State, and was averaging 28.5 when a sprained ankle brought him to a stop. He returned after one week to play out the rest of the season, scored a total of 608 points and helped Duke finish with a 20-5 record.
It is victories, not points, that matter to Heyman. "All he wants to do is win," says Bubas. "You see him around the campus and he's like a big puppy dog, hoping that someone will stop and pet him. Then it's time for a game, and suddenly he's a tiger."
The transformation usually begins well in advance. Art lives on the fourth floor of the Zeta Beta Tau fraternity section of the Duke dorm, in a room with Stalag 402 penciled on the door. On the evening before a game, it sounds like the prisoners are going to break out. Heyman tries to study but can't. He tries to sleep but tumbles and tosses instead. He turns on the light to throw darts at a board on the wall, to the dismay of his roommate. "It's terrible," says Buzzy Mewhort, who was co-captain with Heyman last year. "I roomed with him on the road. In the middle of the night he'd wake me up. 'Do you really think we can beat them?' he'd ask. And he can usually eat a cow, but not before a game."
Immediately before a game, in fact, Heyman gets sick. "We're all sitting around the locker room," says Chuck Zimmer, the manager, "when suddenly Artie jumps up and disappears." Then it's time to go out on the court and Heyman gets his hands on a basketball and everything is all right once again. This is the moment for which Arthur Heyman lives.