By Amy Samin
Talented American guard Ricky Hickman (age 26, 1.89 meters) has reached an agreement with Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv; the two year contract is expected to be signed in the coming days.
Hickman is a superb athlete who is equally at home in the 1 and 2 spots and has excellent shooting ability from outside the arc. He is a team player who shines in the open game, is tough and selfless on the court, and appreciates the support of the fans. Last season was a breakout one for Hickman, who was a star with Italian team Scavolini Siviglia Pesaro, a fact which attracted the attention of numerous Euroleague teams. Hickman chose Maccabi.
Head coach David Blatt had this to say about his new player: ”It’s really great news that Ricky Hickman is joining us in Maccabi. He’s a player who has been on our radar for a while now, and I’m very happy that we’ve succeeded, in a quiet and efficient manner, in signing him. I know for sure that Ricky rejected higher offers from other big clubs, and he’s exactly the kind of player we needed to find: a talented player with character, agreat personality, and a strong desire to play in the yellow and blue.”
“As a player, Hickman has gradually improved and advanced his career in a quiet, consistent and impressive manner. His path reminds me a lot of the path taken by Ariel McDonald, who started out with a tiny club and gradually climbed his way to the top rungs. I hope Ricky will bring us some of the kinds of things Ariel brought to Maccabi in his day. He’s not exactly the same kind of player, but they are alike in their personalities and in putting their desire to help their teams win before their personal statistics. I wish him, and us, good luck.”
Hickman led Pesaro to the semi-final of the Italian League playoffs after taking on former Maccabi player Doron Perkins of Cantù head to head (and winning the series 3 – 2) in the quarterfinals. Pesaro was defeated in the semi-finals 3 – 1 by Milano. Hickman finished last season in Italy with averages of 16.1 points (fifth in the league), 2.9 assists, and 2.9 rebounds. In the playoffs his averages were 15.7 points and 3 assists per game. Together with Giorgi Shermadini, Hickman took part in the Italian League All-Star game, where he scored 11 points.
Starting in 2003 Hickman played four years at UNC-Greensboro. In his best season, he averaged 18.7 points, 4.3 rebounds, 2.8 steals and 2.4 assists per game. In 2007 he joined Romanian team Otopeni; he also played for Goetting of Germany and Namika Lahtig of Finland. In 2010 he signed with Italian team Novipiu Casale of the second division, where he posted averages of 17.5 points and 4 assists. His outstanding ability enabled him to land a contract last summer with Pesaro.