Sep. 23—She said she and her late husband gave their youngest son a special directive as he headed to school.
"He was encouraged to seek out his gifts and his talents on this earth," said Sheila Heflin. "That was the basis for his foundation."
Quincy Heflin took that advice to heart and once he was at Stivers School for the Arts, his talent search produced a resume few high school students could rival:
—He became an All-City and All-Southwest Ohio first team basketball player for the Tigers. In the 2004-05 season — his senior year — he averaged 21.5 p.p.g. and was one of the area's top three-point shooters. With his leadership, he helped second year coach Carlos Roberts turn the program around.
—He played trumpet and was the first chair bass trombonist with the 18-member Stivers Jazz Orchestra that took top national high school honors in the prestigious 2004 Berklee College of Music Competition in Boston in 2004.
The group played Cole Porter's "Love for Sale" and Paul Ferguson's "Blue Highway" and it stunned the judges.
"We see talent at many levels and some incredible bands and players, but very rarely do we hear something that sounds truly professional and mature," Greg Badolato, the head adjudicator of the panel that reviewed Stivers performance, said afterward.
"They just had 'it' and we all heard that immediately. As musicians, we could really relate to it and see that something transcendent was going on."
Six months later Heflin was one of nine Stivers musicians from the school's advanced orchestra that joined members of the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra, director Neil Gittleman and Michael and Sandy Bashaw of the eclectic ensemble Puzzle of Light on a trip to Augsburg, Germany and then Bosnia Herzegovina to play a concert with Sarajevo Philharmonic Orchestra at the National Theatre.
---In the classroom, Heflin was even more impressive. With a 4.32 GPA bolstered by honors courses, he was the co-valedictorian of his 2005 graduating class. He got an academic scholarship to Alabama A & M, where he graduated summa cum laude in mechanical engineering. He then got his master's degree at Penn State.
During Heflin's final year in high school, Dayton Daily News writer Mark Gokavi wrote a story on him. The headline trumpeted him as "The Renaissance Man."
Over the years, few students have better exemplified what Stivers is all about than Heflin.
Sunday he's being enshrined in the Stivers Athletic Hall of Fame.
The other inductees are: Jim Gracey (1963), Mike Fair (1972), Ron Jones (1972), Catherine Cain (2005), Morgan Davis-Brown (2006), Tyler Johnson (2016) and the 1974-76 basketball team led by Frankie Sanders, who averaged 32 points and 21 rebounds a game as a senior and was Ohio's Class AA Co-Player of the Year with Jim Paxson.
Special recognition inductees are Don Perkins (1954) and Carolyn Pinney Brannan (1968.)
The luncheon at the Presidential Banquet Center will be hosted by Bill Hosket Jr., the Belmont High star who became an Ohio State All American and won an NBA title with the New York Knicks and a gold medal at the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico City.
'I loved everything about it'
The 35-year-old Heflin, who now lives in Atlanta and is the plant manager of Elma Electronics, is returning to Dayton for the ceremony with his wife, Dara, and their two children, Ian who's two and Ellie who's 11-months.
"It feels great," Heflin said. "It's always good to be honored for accomplishments you had in the past.
"I grew up in an arts family so school was just an extension of my home life. Stivers taps into your artistic side and allows you to be creative. You're around a lot of creative adjunct teachers who are also artists. It allows you to flourish in so many different areas."
"It wasn't day to day monotony. It's wasn't just, 'You're going to read a book, then go to another class and read another book.'
"It was 'OK, we're going to break it up. You're going to play music, You're going to be around other talented people who dance and sing and perform.'
"It was just a very flavorful and cultural place.
"It was awesome. I loved everything about it."
Heflin said his home life — growing up with four older brothers on Minty Avenue off Philadelphia Drive — prepped him for the success he had at Stivers.
"I came up in a family where people played music, drew, did lots of artistic things," he said. "Both of my parents were educators and my father was a musician, too."
He said his dad, Stuart — who died in 2019 — played piano, the trumpet and the guitar and sang, too.
Sheila said her husband was in a few musical groups over the years. He wrote music, was in a Christian band and also a R & B group with some musicians from Wright Patterson AFB.
"He was a good artist and a varied and skillful educator, too," she said.
He taught art at Sinclair, adult basic learners with Dayton Public Schools (DPS) and was an instructor at the Miami Valley Career Technical Center (CTC).
"He was just a very talented man," Sheila said.
And she was his equal.
She taught speech and language pathology for DPS, Dayton Christian and the Alpha School.
"Quincy was encouraged by both my husband and I," Sheila said. "There was a lot of positivity. We told him: 'You can do it. You can excel.' It was expected of him and he delivered."
And that included the basketball court, she said "His three-point shot was great!"
As for his music, she thinks he still would be good in a band, but said: "He doesn't have the time with his job and his family."
Asked if he still was "The Renaissance Man," Heflin started to laugh:
"Naah, with two little kids, I'm just a family man now. Nothing else."
Sunday that changes.
He'll be a Hall of Famer, too.