Sometimes a little motivation from older siblings is just what a young athlete needs to get started in a sport. This holds true for Alec Hickman, who grew up watching his older brothers play basketball.
“I love to play the game of basketball,” says Hickman. “I grew up watching my brothers play…so that was really my inspiration and I really wanted to compete with them.”
Hickman got his start in the sport when he made a fourth grade National Junior Basketball team as a six-year-old first grader. Now as a senior at JSerra Catholic High School, the co-captain for the Lions goes all out in all he does.
“Being a leader is something that’s not easy to do,” says Hickman, “but… in everything I do, I try to do it as hard as I can and as fast as I can.”
Playing primarily point guard and shooting guard for the Lions, Hickman’s ability caught the eye of college coaches. With a longtime goal of playing basketball in the Pac-12, it’s no surprise Hickman’s most memorable moment in the sport thus far came the day he received a call from the coaching staff at the University of California, Berkeley, offering him a scholarship and a chance to play for the Golden Bears.
“That’s when I realized my dream was coming true,” says the 17-year-old.
JSerra boys basketball coach Joedy Gardner knows that Hickman’s impact extends beyond the court and into the classroom, garnering respect from his peers and his teachers alike, where the humble leader is known for having the “heart of a Lion.”
“Alec is a great young man whose skill set and basketball IQ set him apart from many athletes in the Trinity League,” says Gardner. “I love how he just plays, no matter what the score is or the challenges in front of him. He is a competitor and is ready for that next step. Our entire Lion Community has put our arms around him and we wish him the best.”
As the Riverside resident looks ahead to his college career, Hickman won’t soon forget the experience of playing in one of the toughest high school sports leagues in the country.
“One of the things I’m going to miss the most is going out there with my friends and competing every day,” says Hickman. “I’ll definitely miss playing in the Trinity League.”
Facing challenges along the way that include being told he was too small to play the game, Hickman credits his brothers, parents, coaches and faith for pushing him to be the basketball player he is today.
“My faith has definitely guided me. The Bible says fear no man and you can accomplish anything,” says Hickman. “I took that to heart and said… I’m not going to be afraid of anything because I know God is with me.”