Tony Hicks provides experience as graduate transfer

By on November 11, 2016

By Matt Bradshaw–

Cut short of a postseason run, transfers Trey Lewis and Damion Lee were not able to help Louisville shine in the NCAA tournament last season. Another talented transfer, Tony Hicks, will look for his moment in the Big Dance at U of L.

Hicks is a graduate transfer from University of Pennsylvania. After playing three years of college ball for Penn, he sat out his senior year due to a mutual agreement with Penn coach Steve Donahue. While at Penn, Hicks led the team in scoring his sophomore and junior years.

“It was just something I couldn’t pass up,” Hicks said about the opportunity to come to Louisville.

Hicks racked up 1,060 points in his three seasons. He was team caption his junior year, and hit 78.1 percent of his free throws. He is a 6-foot-2 guard with extreme quickness, and has a 6-8 wingspan.

“He is probably the most athletic guard that we have in terms of speed,” coach Rick Pitino said on Tony Hicks. “He has a Russ Smith type of speed.”

This speed and athleticism has been on display since Hicks was in high school. As the Illinois Player of the Year, Hicks averaged 23.7 points and 3.2 steals his senior year. He also played quarterback at St. Rita’s, and set the school high jump record of 6-foot-2 as a senior.

Lee, surprisingly, played a big role in Hicks’ decision to come to U of L. Hicks became close friends with Lee while Hicks was at Penn and Lee at Drexel. Watching the achievements of Lee and Lewis this past year had a big influence on Hicks.

“Seeing the success that Damion and Trey are having, it all made sense to me,” Hicks said last season.

Hicks then chose to come to Louisville, leaving behind other suitors like Oregon, Miami and Nevada.

Hicks is going to bring undeniable talent to the Cardinals, but his past is not without some controversy. During his three seasons at Penn, Hicks was suspended for four games: two games were for punching a Columbia player during a game, and two others for failing a drug test.

However, Hicks said he has learned a lot from his mistakes, and that he has done a lot of growing up.

“I am committed,” Hicks said. “I couldn’t pass up playing for Rick Pitino and Louisville.”

This preseason, Hicks has demonstrated his commitment and showed up in scrimmages. In the two scrimmages, Hicks provided 39 points, seven assists and seven rebounds. In the opening exhibition game, Hicks couldn’t find the basketball, but he didn’t let that affect his game as he dished out five assists.

“I’m excited to for the opportunity to be on this stage,” Hicks said.

Photo by Nancy Hanner / The Louisville Cardinal

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