Justin Heisig grew up on sports. “I never really played video games or anything like that,” the Fourth year Electrical Engineering major reflects. “When I was a kid, my dad was always buying me sports equipment for Christmas or birthdays.” As a child though, he could have never imagined himself where he is now: playing college basketball for RIT.
His first real taste of the competitive sports world actually came through roller hockey in elementary school. Basketball was a casual pastime to him then — it wasn't until his middle school years that his interests began gravitating towards playing competitively. From there he naturally progressed to his high school's team, where his performance eventually attracted the attention of RIT, who invited him to play for the men's team. He jumped at the opportunity, as he was well aware of RIT’s academic reputation. “I'd heard that RIT was a good engineering school, so it was perfect for me.”
With that, he soon found himself on the court playing as a guard for the college team. He fondly recalls how much he benefitted from being on the team in his freshman year; the bond Heisig shared with his teammates allowed him to adjust to college life easier than others, and the court became a place for him to unwind and slip away from the world after the long, tiring days of class and work. His hard work on the court has been recognized several times, including a few Player of the Week awards, an Outstanding Player Achievement award, and a MVP award.
More valuable than the awards, though, are the memories he has gained through being on the team. He smiled when recalling what he considers one of his more amusing moments, which came from the end of a match against Stevens; a photo captured him making the 3-point winning shot right at the buzzer. One of his most personally rewarding memories is of the greatest game he ever played, during which he scored 31 points against Hartwick.
This will be Heisig’s last year with the team, and there are only two more games left in his college basketball career. “It is been a great four years,” he acknowledges. After graduation in May, Heisig will be faced with a crossroads: continue with sports and play professionally overseas, or begin working as an engineer. He’s seriously considering both options, and says they look equally viable.
For Heisig, basketball has been one of the most rewarding parts of his college experience. Even if this season is where his career with the sport ends, he knows that this is something he’ll always remember.