KATONAH, N.Y. -- Ricky Hicks’ friends in Yonkers had never heard of The Harvey School or Katonah when he enrolled as a freshman. The senior basketball star hopes his friends in his hometown know now.
“I didn’t even know where it was,’’ said Hicks, who became the fourth player in Harvey history to surpass 1,000 points for his career in Friday’s 84-57 win over Chase Collegiate. “When I told my friends I was going to school there, they all supported me. We all stay in contact. A couple of my friends made it to the County Center for the semifinals. We’re all still good friends.”
Hicks joined the Cavaliers’ starting lineup as a freshman. After a strong season as an eighth-grader with the New York Gauchos AAU team, Hicks’ coaches told him he had an opportunity to become a high school standout.
“My mom wasn’t particularly happy with the school I’d be going to in Yonkers,’’ Hick said. “I considered a school in Massachusetts, but it was too far. The five-day boarding at Harvey worked best for us. I saw the opportunity to excel academically and athletically.”
Young basketball players heading to private schools is a growing trend, since they can receive year-round coaching and focus exclusively on one sport. Hicks was one of the first standouts to go the private school rout.
“I’m seeing a lot of my friends leaving the district to go play at private schools,’’ Hicks said. “It’s been great to see our basketball program grow from my freshman and sophomore years. I think we’re getting more acknowledgement that we’re a quality program and we’re on the rise.”
Harvey (12-9) enters the Housatonic Valley Athletic League playoffs as the No. 3 seed, and hosts No. 6 Christian Heritage on Monday. Opponents know the key to stopping the Cavaliers is containing Hicks, who said he was not aware he was close to the 1,000-point plateau until recently.
“It’s shocking,’’ Hicks said. “I didn’t come into my freshman year expecting to score 1,000 points. I didn’t even know it was coming up. My coaches didn’t tell me until I started getting close. I just went into each game like it was a regular game.”
Hicks said he was surprised to join the exclusive list at Harvey, which includes Manhattan College men's basketball coach Steve Masiello. Tyrone Foster (1993) and Tré Wilson (2011) are the only other Harvey players to surpass 1,000 points for their careers.
“Wow, I would never put my name up there with coach Masiello,’’ said Hicks who entered Friday's game averaging 17 points per game this year. “He played Division I basketball (at Kentucky) and was a good player. He’s looked up to around here. I never imagined I’d be able to put my name in the same sentence.”
Hicks finished the game with 19 points, giving him 1,002 for his career. Mike DePass contributed 16 points while Austin Forman chipped in with nine. Rohan Cassells led the team with 10 rebounds.
Hicks plans to play Division III basketball, but has not made his college choice. He feels his career at Harvey has exceeded his expectations.
“I wanted to get a good education,’’ Hicks said. “I left Yonkers and I wanted the opportunity to excel. It has worked out well.”
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