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New DePaul men’s basketball assistant coach Heirman brings experience, youth

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Shane Heirman is one of the biggest acquisitions of the 2017 offseason for DePaul men’s basketball. In his career he has:

Earned a Division I scholarship at Tulsa after walking on.

Led La Lumiere High School to a national championship.

Coached 23 eventual Divison I college basketball players.

And now he’s an assistant coach at a Division I program.

Oh, and he’s 28-years-old.

Heirman was announced as DePaul men’s basketball’s newest assistant coach last week, replacing Patrick Sellers on head coach Dave Leitao’s staff.

“There’s a lot of different positive attributes,” Leitao said about Heirman. “He’s a tremendous people person with a lot of contacts, he’s a great recruiter and part of that is his relationships.”

As a Chicago-area native, Heirman attended Marian Central Catholic High School before going to Tulsa in 2008 as a walk-on after a brief stint at Marquette. He earned a scholarship by his senior season and graduated in 2011.

Heirman enjoyed great success at La Lumiere, a prep school in La Porte, Ind. He recruited high-level athletes including five-star recruits Jeremiah Tillmon, Brian Bowen and DePaul commit Tyger Campbell. He led the Lakers to a Dick’s Sporting Goods High School national championship in 2017, following up a championship loss in 2016 with the victory. He was 82-7 in three years as head 

coach. Heirman and Leitao’s relationship, however, goes back to when Leitao was an assistant coach at Missouri  recruiting for the Tigers.

“Just slowly over time built a trusting relationship (with Leitao),” Heirman said. “Furthered it with (DePaul associate head coach Rick Carter) so between the two of them there was a lot of good synergy and it felt like the right thing to do.”

Heirman brings to DePaul a web of connections. Two former players of his at La  Lumiere are currently at DePaul in freshmen Brandon Cyrus and Al Eichelberger. Transfer graduate forward Marin Maric, who played at La Lumiere when Heirman was an assistant, is reportedly transferring to DePaul for next season as well.

“His relationships with our guys will be great,” Leitao said. “He’s experienced enough but yet young enough to create a great balance with our guys in the locker room.”

The biggest connection of all, however, is with Campbell, who verbally committed to DePaul last week. He played for Heirman at La Lumiere.

While Heirman can’t comment on Campbell until he signs his letter of intent, he did say that recruiting at DePaul is not all that different from La Lumiere.

“It’s actually pretty similar,” he said. “A lot of the relationships are the same, a lot of the things run the same way because at the end of the day you’re dealing with a high-level kid. There’s more resources to do it here.”

Eichelberger, who played for Heirman for half of his senior year, was “excited” to learn  Heirman would join the DePaul staff.

“I was like ‘wow’ high school all over again,” he said. “We have a very good relationship. He recruited me and I know him pretty well.”

Eichelberger also said the relationship between DePaul and La Lumiere will continue to grow. There are now four La Lumiere alumni either playing at or committed to DePaul.

“They both know each other really well so there’s great communication,” Eichelberger said. “(The relationship) is growing every day.”

Heirman said knowing Eichelberger and Cyrus hes already helped him relate to the other members on the team.

“It helps tremendously,” he said. “You’re trying to build relationships right now with the other guys and there’s already relationships in place to look to as an example in guys that know me and I know them and the expectation of where we’re trying to take this thing.”

And at 28-years-old, Heirman is able to build those relationships.

“You can stay connected,” he said. “I’m just old enough to be old enough, just young enough to be young enough and understand what they’re going through at this point in their life.”

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New DePaul men’s basketball assistant coach Heirman brings experience, youth