Photo by Burt Granofsky – UltiPhotos.com
Dan Heijmen began his Ultimate career as a freshman at the University of Wisconsin in 2002. In his first years of playing Ultimate, Heijmen, along with his Wisconsin teammates, enjoyed an incredibly successful season, culminating in a Nationals victory over a tough Oregon opponent in 2003.
2004 was a rebuilding year for Heijmen and Wisconsin, as the Hodags endured a mixed season, ultimately losing in the quarterfinals at Nationals. Though 2005 saw a more experienced and determined squad, injuries, including a broken arm suffered by Heijmen himself, plagued the team to another loss in the quarterfinals at Nationals. The Hodags had a great season, losing only three times all year as Heijmen was elected to the Central All-Region Team. However, Wisconsin faced a tough Florida opponent in the finals of Nationals and would ultimately lose. In 2007, his final year of college eligibility, Heijmen led the Hodags to a 55-1 record, capped off by a well-deserved National title. Heijmen would go on to be selected to his 2nd All-Region Team and win the Callahan Award (College Ultimate’s version of the Heisman Award).
Heijmen’s Ultimate career has not been limited to college, however. Heijmen played four years on Minneapolis’ club team, Sub Zero, making quarterfinals at club nationals twice and captaining the team in 2008. Heijmen then joined the New York club team, PoNY, where he captained the team in 2010 and 2011.
Heijmen described his desire to play in the MLU as simply a new challenge. “I have been playing Ultimate now for over 10 years and I just always wanted to see Ultimate go to the next level,” he said. “This is a new challenge playing with and against great players.”
As for his goals for the season, Heijmen explained that he has one primary objective: to make the playoffs. “My number one goal is to qualify for the post-season,” Heijmen said. “Everything else is icing on the cake and anything can happen. [I’m going to] push myself and my teammates to be the best we can be.”
When he is not playing Ultimate, Heijmen enjoys reading and watching movies, while also spending time with his wife, teammates and old high school friends. A native of New Canaan, Connecticut, Heijmen currently lives in Brooklyn where he coaches the Poly Prep Ultimate team.
Look for Heijmen, an offensive cutter, to use his quickness and stamina to stymie defenses throughout the season.