By Bob Vazquez, Assistant Athletic Director, Strategic Communications
Northridge, Calif. – When Stephan Hicks arrived on the Cal State Northridge campus three years ago, there was little or no fanfare.
Not highly recruited out of National College Prep in Los Angeles, Hicks redshirted (2010-11 season) to work on both his scoring and rebounding as well as adjust to the academic rigors of school.
The results have paid off. Today, when he walks on the basketball court to begin his third season (2013-14) on the Matadors team, everybody knows Stephan Hicks. His opponents are keenly aware of the many talents Hicks displays on the court.
Score – Yes, he can; Rebound – Yes, he can; Shoot Free Throws – Yes, he can.
Hicks will again be a focal point of the team's success in 2013-14.
"The team is really competing," said Hicks, who gained Big West Freshman of the Year honors (2011-12), and has been prominently mentioned in all the pre-season national magazines. "Practices have been very competitive. I think we will be ready for the start of the season."
In only his third game as a freshman on the collegiate level in 2011-12, Hicks collected a double-double effort of 22 points and 17 rebounds at the University of Hawai'i. The 17 boards were only seven short of the school record set by George Robnett vs UC Irvine in 1971.
Since that time, opponents scouting reports have Stephan Hicks on the top of the list.
In the previous two seasons at CSUN, Hicks has been the team's leading scorer (15.1 ppg in 2011-12, 15.7 ppg in 2012-13) along with being among the conference leaders in rebounding (7.1 rpg to rank third in the Big West in 2011-12; 7.0 rpg to rank sixth in 2012-13).
Pretty nifty stats, but there is always room for improvement, according to Hicks.
"I know our opponents will try not to allow me to get to my key spots on the floor where I have been effective," said Hicks. "I know they will try to make it tough for me this season."
During the past summer, Hicks continued to improve his game in all areas.
"I'm always looking for the good shot either by driving to the basket or shooting the jump shot," said Hicks, an excellent free throw shooter, who is shooting a career .807 from the charity stripe, seventh-best in school history. "My jumping ability has allowed me to be a good rebounder. I like to mix it up under the basket."
Hicks, with two years remaining at CSUN, is taking aim at the school's all-time leading scorer record. In two seasons, Hicks has scored 843 points. The school record holder is Brian Heinle, who tallied 1,641 points (1997-01).