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Sue Wicks

Sue Wicks, being honored at Rutgers-UConn game
Sue Wicks
Medal record
Competitor for  United States
Pan American
1987 Pan Am Indianapolis, Indiana, USA Team Competition

Susan Joy "Sue" Wicks (born November 26, 1966) is a former basketball player in the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA). She played with the New York Liberty from 1997 to 2002. She currently serves as a collegiate basketball coach.

Contents

  • Early Basketball Career 1
  • WNBA career 2
  • Personal life 3
  • Coaching career 4
  • Hall of Fame 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7

Early Basketball Career

Born in Center Moriches, New York, Wicks played for Rutgers University from 1984 to 1988. While at Rutgers, she was named a Kodak All-American in 1986, 1987 and 1988, and in 1988 she won the Naismith, U.S. Basketball Writers Association, Women’s Basketball News Service and Street & Smith’s National Player of the Year awards. She was Player of the Year in the Atlantic 10 Conference in 1986, 1987 and 1988, winning the Atlantic 10 Tournament MVP award in 1986 and 1988, and sharing it in 1987. She also was named to All-Regional Teams in the NCAA tournament in 1986 and 1987. She holds the Rutgers records for points scored (2,655), rebounds (1,357), scoring average (21.2 ppg), rebounding average (10.9 rpg), field goals made (1,091) and attempted (2,099), free throws made (473) and attempted (641), and blocked shots (293). The scoring and rebounding totals are records for a male or female player at Rutgers.

She was a gold medalist in the 1987 Pan-American Games.[1]

Following her college career, she played professionally in Italy, Japan, Spain and Israel before the WNBA was founded. In 1997, she was signed for the inaugural WNBA season by the New York Liberty, to fill the role of back-up center. The Liberty played at the WNBA championship game, losing to the Houston Comets, 65 to 51.

WNBA career

Wicks spent more than 15 years playing professionally overseas and played in the WNBA for the New York Liberty for six years (1997 - 2002).[2] Wicks mostly came off the bench for the Liberty but did start 45 of 182 regular season games, including 30 starts (out of 32 games played) in 1999. Wicks starting in 1999 was due in part to her defensive skills. She developed into a fan favorite and was voted by the fans as a starter in the 2000 WNBA all-star game. In 2000, she received the WNBA's top award for sportsmanship, the Kim Perrot Sportsmanship Award. In 1999 and in 2000, Wicks and the Liberty reached the WNBA Finals, only to be beaten by Houston again both times. In 2002, Wicks and the Liberty returned to the Finals again, but this time, they lost to Lisa Leslie and the Los Angeles Sparks.

In 182 WNBA games played, Wicks scored 823 points, for a total of 4.5 points per game, had 182 assists for one assist per game, recovered 788 rebounds, for a total of 4.3 per game, and had 158 blocks, for a total of 0.90 blocks per game. She finished her WNBA career as the number eight leader of all times in shots blocked.[3]

Personal life

Wicks is a lesbian and was one of the few players willing to discuss sexual orientation in the WNBA during her career. She has said "I can't say how many players are gay ... but it would be easier to count the straight ones."[4] She finds it "annoying" that the league almost exclusively promotes those who are mothers. "I like it when they give insight into athletes, and I think it's great when they say, 'Here's a player and her husband and baby.' But I'd love to see a couple of women profiled, too, especially if they had a great, solid relationship, just to show that in a positive light."[4]

Coaching career

Since retiring from professional basketball, Wicks formed an all-girls basketball camp in New York. In 2004, she completed her bachelor's degree at Rutgers and was hired as the Coordinator of Operations for the Rutgers women's basketball team. In 2005, she was named an assistant coach of the team.

Wicks was inducted into the Rutgers Basketball Hall of Fame in 1994[5] and was inducted into the university's Hall of Distinguished Alumni in 2005. She is one of only two Rutgers women's basketball players to have her jersey retired.

In July 2006, she became the Assistant Coach for the women's basketball team at Saint Francis College in Brooklyn, New York.[5] After leaving her assistant coaching position at Saint Francis College, Wicks said that she felt that being an out lesbian was an overwhelming liability in getting a job as a women's basketball coach.[6]

Hall of Fame

Wicks was inducted in the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in June 2013. She did not have a prepared speech, as that task seemed too much, but spoke extemporaneously, thanking Pat Summitt for her leadership in the formation of the Hall of Fame.[7] Her credentials included selection as a Kodak All-American three times, and the record-holder of career points and rebounds at Rutgers, records which had not been surpassed by any male or female players at Rutgers at the time of the induction. She also played professionally in the WNBA and was on the gold medal winning USA Basketball Pan-American Games team in 1987[8]

References

  1. ^ "Tenth Pan American Games -- 1987". USA Basketball. June 10, 2010. Archived from the original on 7 September 2015. Retrieved 15 October 2015. 
  2. ^ "Sue Wicks Player Info". wnba.com. WNBA. Retrieved June 1, 2014. 
  3. ^ "Sue Wicks Bio". WNBA.com. 1998-04-26. Retrieved 2013-12-05. 
  4. ^ a b Solomon, Alisa (August 8, 2000), "Sue Wicks's Forward Behavior",  
  5. ^ a b Henson, Joaquin (July 9, 2009), "Ex-WNBA star joins Spoelstra's RP tour",  
  6. ^ Cyphers, Luke; Fagan, Kate (January 26, 2011). "Unhealthy climate". sports.espn.go.com. ESPN. Retrieved June 1, 2014. 
  7. ^ Cornelius, Maria M. (June 9, 2013). "Six enter Women's Basketball HOF". ESPN. Retrieved 9 Jun 2013. 
  8. ^ "They're the class of 2013". ESPN. June 7, 2013. Retrieved 9 Jun 2013. 

External links

  • Official Site
  • WNBA Player File page for Sue Wicks
  • 2003 WNBA Press Release on Sue Wicks' retirement
  • St. Francis Hires Sue Wicks
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