Ricky Hickman is a 31 year old 190 cm guard from Kernersville North Carolina that is going into his 11th professional season and second in Germany and first with Brose Bamberg. He played his college basketball career at North Carolina-Greensboro from 2003-2007. In his senior year, he played 30 games averaging 14.3ppg, 3.4rpg, 2.4apg, 1.7spg, FGP: 36.5%, 3Pts: 27.8%, FT: 70.9%. In 2007-2008, he played in Romania for CS Otopeni Bucuresti playing 11 games and averaging 19.0ppg, 4.2rpg, 4.3apg, 1.8spg, 2FGP: 60.4%, 3PT: 29.8%, FT: 70.8%. In 2008-2009, he played in Germany for LTi Giessen 46ers playing 24 games and averaging 6.9ppg, 1.7rpg, 1.3apg, 1.3spg, FGP: 41.4%, 3PT: 28.6%, FT: 65.7%. In the 2009-2010 season he played for Namika Lahti (Finland-Korisliiga) playing 38 games leading the league in scoring at 23.7ppg), 5.4rpg, Assists-2(3.8apg), Steals-3(2.4spg), FGP-3(62.8%), 3PT: 39.9%, FT: 73.2. In the 2010-2011 season he moved to Fastweb Junior Casale Monferrato (Italy-Lega2) playing 41 games averaging 17.5ppg, 2.8rpg, Assists-4(4.0apg), 2.0spg, FGP: 55.5%, 3PT: 40.7%, FT: 84.3%. In the 2011-2012 season he moved another step up joining Scavolini Siviglia Pesaro (Italy-SerieA) playing 41 games averaging 16.0ppg, 2.9rpg, 2.9apg, 1.6spg, FGP: 58.4%, 3PT: 38.4%, FT: 81.1%. He then played at Maccabi Electra Tel-Aviv (Israel-Premier League) from 2013-3024 winning the Euroleague in his second season where he played 38 games averaging 10.7ppg, 2.8rpg, 3.0apg, FGP: 45.6%, 3PT: 40.4%, FT: 82.7%; He also played 38 Euroleague games averaging 12.2ppg, 2.6rpg, 2.7apg, FGP: 50.0%, 3PT: 32.3%, FT: 75.2%. He then played two seasons at Fenerbahce Ulker Istanbul (Turkey-TBL) and in his second season played 10 games averaging 5.1ppg, 2.0rpg, 1.5apg, FGP: 45.8%, 3PT: 21.4%, FT: 74.1%;He also played 20 Euroleague games averaging 4.6ppg, 1.3rpg, 1.3apg. Last season he played for EA7 Emporio Armani Milano (Italy-Serie A) playing 34 games averaging 10.6ppg, 2.6rpg, 2.8apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 49.6%, 3PT: 40.6%, FT: 71.4%. He also played 20 Euroleague games averaging 10.1ppg, 2.6rpg, 3.3apg, FGP: 41.9%, 3PT: 34.9%, FT: 80.2%. He spoke to German Hoops about basketball.
Thanks Ricky for talking to German Hoops and welcome back to Germany. So many great players and character guys come from North Carolina like you, Chris Oliver and Kyle Hines just to name a few. Is there really something special in the North Carolina air that has given the basketball world so many great players and basketball people?
North Carolina is just a basketball state and so many guys just eat, sleep, and play basketball all day. I believe that guys in North Carolina just have such a strong love for the game and I believe it shows if you watch them play
I remember when you played with Giessen. You played 24 games averaging 6.9ppg, 1.7rpg, 1.3apg, 1.3spg, FGP: 41.4%, 3PT: 28.6%, FT: 65.7%. You lost twice to your future team Bamberg losing by an average 19 points and you scored a total of 3 points in 32 minutes. When you look back at the last nine years, were you just a slow starter as a professional and needed more time to mature and develop as a player
When I was in Giessen I was coming into a situation with a new team in the middle of the year and I was still young trying to find myself and I definitely remember playing against Bamberg and just thinking after we got smacked that it was another level I had to get to if i wanted to be at that level. So I worked and here I am.
The next season you went to Finland to play for Namika Lahti (Finland-Korisliiga) playing 38 games: Score-1(23.7ppg), 5.4rpg, Assists-2(3.8apg), Steals-3(2.4spg), FGP-3(62.8%), 3PT: 39.9%, FT: 73.2%. This was the turning point of your career as after this you got signed by Italian teams but even there in your first season had to play in the second division and after that became a Euroleague player. What was it in your season in Finland that really shaped your game and did the mental part of the game also play a role?
In Finland it was the first time at the pro level were a coach told me play your game don’t look at me on the sidelines and I trust you! This feeling was unbelievable and I took full advantage of the trust and the freedom. Maybe too much but I loved just playing like that and it showed throughout the season
Since Finland you have won titles in every country you played in Italy, Israel and Turkey. You have been a guy that has been able to infect your various teams with success. What has been key in your role as a leader that has been able to not only been able to lead your teams the right way, but also get your teammates on the right page in so many different times?
I have been blessed to be on some great teams and one thing I can say is that the most successful teams I have been on there´s not just been one guy that you look at and say that´s our on the court and off the court vocal leader. The most successful teams I’ve been on police themselves and hold each other accountable and everyone is kind of a leader in their own way at certain times throughout the season
With Macabbi Tel Aviv you won the second biggest title after the NBA chip with the Euroleague.Did Tyrese Rice become a brother for life and do you feel the team would have still won the title with one or the other not on the team that season since you both were so instrumental in going all the way?
Yes Tyrese will always be a brother to me just like a few others that were on that 2014 championship team, but I definitely think we both were needed in order to have the success we had that year as well as the other 10 guys on the team. That team was special one of the best ones I’ve ever been on in my career
You played for Fenerbahce Ulker Istanbul (Turkey-BSL) from 2014-2016 and despite winning the Turkish cup in 2016, you didn´t have a good statistical season. How difficult was it bouncing from that last season in Turkey to going to Milan and having a super season where you averaged 10.6ppg, 2.6rpg, 2.8apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 49.6%, 3PT: 40.6%, FT: 71.4%; Euroleague: 30 games: 10.1ppg, 2.6rpg, 3.3apg, FGP: 41.9%, 3PT: 34.9%, FT: 80.2%?
Playing in Fenerbahce was a good experience and I always look at things in a positive light and I am happy to say that while I was there we won some titles and got to the final 4.
Welcome to Bamberg. How excited are you to be back in the BBL and to play for the best team in Germany. If someone had told you in 2008 with Giessen that this would happen one day you probably would have agreed with your healthy self-confidence, but known that you couldn´t stop putting in the extra work?
I am very excited to be playing in the BBL again I think it´s one of the top 2 or 3 leagues in Europe and continues to grow each and every year. But more than that I’m very excited to be playing at Bamberg this year and for coach Trinchieri. I couldn’t ask for a better situation to improve as a player and have the chance to win at the highest level #freakcity
You had a 6-0 record in Euroleague play against Alba Berlin and FC Bayern Munich from 2012-2015, but last season lost both games to Brose Bamberg. You played well in both games last season. Did you always play with a special chip on your shoulder against German teams simply because of your past history early in your career?
I would like to think that I play with a chip on my shoulder every time I touch the court. But yes last year we lost twice to Bamberg and I was very impressed with their team. I think that they play one of the best styles of basketball in Europe
You are joining the second dynasty in Bamberg under Andrea Trinchieri as he has won three league titles in a row and before him New Jersey nets assistant coach Chris Fleming won 4 league titles. All in all Bamberg has won 7 of the last 8. Do you feel pressure going in as the point guard filling the shoes for past great players like Brad Wanamaker and Fabien Causeur?
No I don’t feel any pressure to come into Bamberg to win because I expect to win whatever team I go too. I put more pressure on myself than any organization, coach, could ever do so if I can go out play the way I know I’m capable of playing I believe I can help the team and we can have a great season
You will be turning 32 in September. Are you already past your prime or still in it. What can Brose Bamberg expect from you and how confident are you that a new changed league will see an even better Ricky Hickman?
I always had a drive in me to compete at the highest level so to be honest with you I’m not surprised that I’m still were I’m at… I feel like i still have a lot to prove and the only way to do that is to continue to work, improve and get better.
Thanks Ricky for the chat.