Mallory Heyer, a 6-foot-1 senior forward from Chaska (MN) High, committed to Minnesota last October. She is ranked as the fourth-best senior in Minnesota by Prep Hoops and as the 54th best senior in the country by ESPN.
Heyer is part of a four-player recruiting class of local talent that are ranked as the second, third, fourth and fifth best players in the state. She will join Eden Prairie forward Nia Holloway, Wayzata guard Mara Braun and Amaya Battle from Hopkins at Minnesota.
Heyer averaged 21.0 points per game this past season, scoring in double figures in 17 of 18 games. She had eleven games of 20 points or more points, including 31 each against Chanhassen and St. Louis Park. Chaska finished 18-0, winning the Class AAAA title with a 45-42 win over Rosemount.
GopherHole recently caught up with Heyer to learn more about her decision to attend Minnesota and upcoming senior season.
GopherHole: You were the first person to commit to the Class of 2022. What was the main reason that you decided that the Gophers was where you wanted to be?
Mallory Heyer: Minnesota had every single thing I wanted in a school, in a program and I love the coaching staff. The campus is amazing and it felt right to stay home and I can represent my home state and play in front of my family and friends, so that was the main thing.
GopherHole: I know Coach Whalen has made getting the top in-state girls to stay in Minnesota a priority. You are part of that class with three other girls that you know very well. How nice was that to have players join you in hopefully getting Minnesota back to where it has been in the past?
Mallory Heyer: Yeah, that was amazing. I know that Coach “Wha,” she has been recruiting Minnesota pretty hard, so to get us four to all stay home was amazing and I’m super excited to play with the other three. They are all very talented and we are already becoming great friends, so it is going to be super fun.
GopherHole: Did you work on a couple of those girls to get them to join you? Were you talking to them as well?
Mallory Heyer: Yes, so I was the first to commit, so I definitely reached out to them and talked to them too, because I obviously wanted them to come and stay home with me.
GopherHole: To be honest, a lot of these girls, you play against, either in conference or AAU, so you know them pretty well. How do you see you guys all being able to play together, because you are all different, so you can play at the same time?
Mallory Heyer: Yes, I think that we are all different players, but we are going to all work together. We’ve got two guards and two forwards, so I think that is going to be a great mix. I’m just excited. All three of them are very talented, so it’s going to be a lot of fun.
GopherHole: You had a great year at Chaska, winning the Class AAAA title. What would it mean to repeat as a senior?
Mallory Heyer: That is the goal of mine and our team. We definitely want to repeat and we are just going to keep working. Last year was just a dream come true, but two times would even be better.
GopherHole: How many starters do you have back from last year?
Mallory Heyer: Three.
GopherHole: Obviously, you are going to be a little bit more of a leader this year as a senior. Is that something you are looking forward to?
Mallory Heyer: Yeah, I am definitely looking forward to leading this team. We want to make it back to the Target Center, so that is definitely our goal this season.
GopherHole: I know that you are all going on your official visits the same week. What do you expecting out of that? Obviously, you are very familiar with the campus already, but what are you hoping to gain from your official visit?
Mallory Heyer: I’m super excited for my official visit, just to keep building relationships with the coaches, the players and the commits to my class, too, because we are going to be living together and we are going to be teammates, so I’m just excited for it. It is going to be a lot of fun because it is the whole weekend. We get to go to a football game, so it is going to be a lot of fun.
GopherHole: What things are you really working on to improve yourself as a player?
Mallory Heyer: Definitely my perimeter game. My outside. Ballhandling and my jump shot, too and some moves off the dribble.
GopherHole: What is it going to mean to you to walk on the court your first game as a college freshman?
Mallory Heyer: That is going to mean the world to me, just to be able to play in front of all my friends and family and to play at the Barn. That has always been a dream of mine, so it is just going to be an amazing feeling. I’m looking forward to it.