Heffren brothers powering Eureka basketball

Tyler and Trevor Heffren both averaging better than 15 points per game
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Published: Jan. 18, 2022 at 11:11 PM CST
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EUREKA (Heart of Illinois ABC) - Chemistry is a word that gets thrown around a lot in basketball. It’s what’s needed for teams to have success. Often times, those teams that are truly successful have to build it over the course of a season. Luckily for Eureka, a pair of their star players have been building chemistry with each other for much longer than just the length of the season.

Brothers Trevor and Tyler Heffren have been playing together for as long as they can remember and it’s showing this year. Senior guard Trevor and sophomore forward Tyler are both averaging better than 15 points per game for the Hornets who are once again right near the top of the Heart of Illinois Conference standings and they say knowing each other’s games so well is a huge benefit.

“I know what he can do well,” Tyler said. “He knows what I can do well so we set each other up to be the best we can be.”

And they’re having a lot of fun getting the chance to play together for maybe the last time in their careers.

“I mean it’s real fun,” Trevor said. “We just know each other on the court. I know what he’s gonna do on defense, he knows what I’m gonna do. I know where he’s gonna be offense, know where he’s gonna cut and it’s just fun. I mean this is what everyone dreams of.”

The Heffrens are certainly enjoying this opportunity to play together but it was actually being driveway rivals growing up that started their love of the game.

“Growing up we always used to play against each other, never be on the same team when we’d have friends over,” Trevor said. “Just always us kinda going at each other.”

For younger brother Tyler, going up against his brother when they were kids often meant going up against someone much bigger and faster than him. While that meant he often lost those one-on-one matchups, it also forced him to grow up quickly on the basketball court.

“He was always stronger than me so he’d always take me to the paint so I could never bring it in the post so I worked on my outside game and I feel like that really helped me out,” Tyler said. “And just my confidence in myself even. When I’d get beat down and beat every single time, I would just pick myself up and keep on working hard and keep on going out there.”

But Tyler wasn’t alone in learning a lot of lessons from those games growing up. Big brother Trevor knows that going against someone so good for so many years certainly shaped him as a player and competitor as well.

“I mean, growing up, we always wanted to better than each other, push each other to be the best we can,” Trevor said. “My goal is to better than him, his goal is to be better than me so we just make each other better.”

The competition they put each other through has turned them into a lethal on-court combination, but their coach says it’s their off-the-court mentality that makes them truly special.

“They do a great job for us,” Eureka head coach Aaron Dohner said. “They take the game seriously. They’re leaders in the way that they go about their business day in and day out at practice. I think that’s a big reason why they’re having success and then, in turn, us having success as a team.”

With elite skills on the court and plenty of work ethic off the court, the Heffrens have Eureka primed to make a postseason run and that’s something they’re definitely looking forward to.

“I think it’s really fun because just knowing now that we can keep on going hard and obviously with Trevor, I just think it’s going to be really fun to see what we can do this year,” Tyler said.

And with still two more years on the way for younger brother Tyler, big bro Trevor knows that he’ll be leaving the program in good hands.

“It’s fun watching him,” Trevor said. “I think he’s going to have a great high school career. Just seeing what he’s doing now as just a sophomore, he’s still got two more years to develop. He’s just going to have a really successful high school career.”

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