Heytvelt approaching reinstatement after drug bust

Updated: September 12, 2007, 6:51 PM ET
Associated Press

SPOKANE, Wash. -- Gonzaga basketball player Josh Heytvelt could be returning to the team after being suspended for possession of hallucinogenic mushrooms.

Heytvelt, 21, has done nearly 300 hours of community service, far more than required, and is meeting other obligations.

"He appears to be on track to do everything that is asked of him," Gonzaga sports information director Oliver Pierce said Wednesday. "We see no reason why he probably won't be back."

The school has not made a decision on lifting Heytvelt's suspension, however, nor is it clear when a decision will be made, Pierce said.

The 6-foot-11 center from Clarkston averaged more than 15 points a game and led the team with 7.7 rebounds a game until he and teammate Theo Davis of Brampton, Ontario, were arrested Feb. 9 in Cheney after police said they spotted a bag of hallucinogenic mushrooms protruding from a bag in Heytvelt's vehicle during a traffic stop.

Investigators said they also found a partial marijuana cigarette in Davis' pocket.

Both were suspended indefinitely from the team.

In his summer prospectus, coach Mark Few sounded confident that the heavily recruited Heytvelt will return for his junior year.

"Josh has done everything asked of him," Few said. "We are optimistic he will again be a huge part of this team and of our success this coming season."

Few said Davis, a redshirt freshman last year who had not played because of injuries, was also on track to return, but some of his obligations were delayed because he played on the Canadian national team this summer. He agreed to perform 10 hours of community service and take life-skills classes.

Both players entered court-supervised diversion programs in which the charges against them would be dismissed if they performed specific actions.

To return, the players must satisfy requirements of the legal system, the university and the athletic department, Pierce said.

Heytvelt was required to serve 240 hours of community service, undergo random urinalysis and not commit any crimes for at least one year. So far, he has performed 57 more hours than required, coaching summer programs, working with terminally ill children and assisting with Habitat for Humanity building projects, said Melissa Lewis, Heytvelt's case manager with Friendship Diversion Services.

He has also completed drug and alcohol education classes and passed weekly random urine tests, Lewis said.

"We expect they will dismiss the charges against him," she said. "He's gone above and beyond."

Heytvelt was the most famous person in the program and the arrest got a lot of attention, so school districts in the region would not let him teach basketball clinics for community service, Lewis said.


Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press