Georgia Tech guard Josh Heath said it will be “interesting” and “fun” when the Yellow Jackets play Boston College Saturday. The game will feature a rather unusual rivalry – Heath’s father Stan is an assistant coach at Boston College.
“It’ll be cool playing against him,” Heath said Friday.
The two Heaths were together two years ago during the 2013-14 season, when Stan was the coach at South Florida and Josh was a freshman point guard. The elder Heath was fired after the season and the younger Heath transferred to Tech to play for coach Brian Gregory, who was an assistant coach at Michigan State with Stan.
But after sitting out a season and doing television commentary, he got back in the game with Boston College. The ACC connection has given the Heaths a common ground, as they often talk about the league and their games. Stan has shared scouting reports with Josh.
“If they play, like, Clemson, before we play Clemson, he’ll tell me something he’s seen – ‘They’re really good at this’ or ‘You guys should be able to do this against them’ – stuff like that,” Josh said. “Nothing crazy.”
Heath's role has been reduced recently, as Marcus Georges-Hunt has taken more of the minutes at point guard. However, Heath leads Tech in assists with 85 and his 3.4 assist-to-turnover ratio is second in the ACC going into this weekend's games and 18th nationally after Thursday's games.
Josh said he’s never been in a situation like this. Gregory said he’s never heard of it, either. The Tech football team actually encountered something similar in 2014. Offensive line coach Mike Sewak’s son Nick is a backup long snapper at Georgia Southern, which played Tech in 2014 and will again this coming season. In the NBA, Clippers coach Doc Rivers coached against his son Austin Rivers before the Clippers traded for him. Rather oddly, former Clippers coach Mike Dunleavy also coached against his son, Mike Jr., who, also oddly, played for Duke like Austin Rivers.
“I don’t think it’s going to be an easy game for (Josh),” said Gregory, who remains good friends with Stan. “I don’t think it’s going to be an easy game for Stan or (Josh’s mother and Stan’s wife) Ramona, either. Because there’s obviously a relationship there and a love there, but there’s also a competitive streak in all three of them. So it’s not going to be easy, but Josh is a very mature kid and he knows as we move on, we’ve got to have everybody on board and playing their best of the season, so we’re counting on him.”
Josh said that his father’s role in prepping the Eagles on Tech was minimal, so as to avoid having to tell Boston College players the strengths and weaknesses of a certain junior point guard for the Jackets.
“I don’t think he wanted anything to do with the scout,” he said. “He won’t have to put himself in that position to be giving a scouting report. He said he was probably going to be out recruiting before our game.”
As for Mrs. Heath’s rooting interest?
“Us,” Josh Heath said.