“We’re very grateful for the NCAA’s decision to grant Mustapha a legislative relief waiver,” Mullin said in a statement released after ZAGSBLOG broke the news. “It is important for Mustapha to be close to his family during this difficult time, so providing him the opportunity to play immediately will be a great benefit as he continues to pursue his personal goals. Mustapha is a high-character young man with loads of talent who will now be able to showcase it on the highest stage.”
The Waterbury, Conn., native received Second Team All-SEC honors from the Associated Press as a sophomore after averaging 16.4 points, 5.3 rebounds, 1.2 steals and 0.9 assists per game in 32 appearances, all of which were starts, for the Tigers. Just the fifth player in Auburn history to eclipse the 1,000-point plateau in his first two seasons, Heron finished sixth in the SEC in scoring thanks to eight 20-plus point scoring performances and 29 outings in double figures. Heron, who poured in a career-high 31 points against Winthrop on Nov. 24, led the Tigers to their third SEC Regular Season Championship in program history.
The former consensus five-star prospect, Heron was ranked as high as 17th nationally by recruiting services coming out of Sacred Heart High School in Waterbury, Conn. A three-time all-state selection who led Sacred Heart to three-straight state titles and a 54-game winning streak, Heron averaged 30 points and eight rebounds per game as a senior in 2015-16.
Heron was also a standout on the AAU circuit, playing with New York RENS prior to enrolling at Auburn.
During his time with the Rens, he helped initiate a program where the RENS wore an orange patch on their uniforms to promote awareness of gun violence. Now all teams in the Nike EYBL wear the patch.
Heron joins a cast of newcomers at St. John’s that also includes incoming freshmen Greg Williams Jr., Josh Roberts and Marcellus Earlington, as well as transfers David Caraher, LJ Figueroa and Eli Wright. The Johnnies return a core group of veterans for 2018-19 that were the team’s top three scorers a season ago in First Team All-Big East selection Shamorie Ponds, Marvin Clark II and Justin Simon.