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Ice Breaker: Pterodactyl-impersonating combo guard Abby Hicks helps Hart soar to new heights

Alma College commit makes plays all over the basketball court for the Pirates.

It’s not that Addi Hovey likes to see Abby Hicks angry. Hovey just likes Hicks’ energy level and how she plays basketball when she’s worked up.

“When she gets angry, she does a lot better,” said Hovey, who is a junior standout for Hart’s girls basketball team. “I mean, not that she doesn’t do good (ordinarily), but I think her energy makes her more fired up and she knows she can do it.

“(But) no, I don’t want to get her mad because then she won’t talk to me,” Hovey said with a grin.

Angry or not, Hicks assembled one heck of a season for Hart’s Division 3 state semifinal squad last season. The 5-foot-7 combo guard averaged 14.5 points, 5.8 steals, 5.5 rebounds, and 3.5 assists as the 24-4 Pirates collected West Michigan Conference Rivers Division, district, and regional titles.

Hart knocked off nemesis Kent City in the regional finals (37-34) and toppled top-ranked Buchanan in the state quarterfinals (45-41). Buchanan was led by 6-4 Faith Carson, who is now a freshman center on Ohio State University’s women’s basketball team. Hart fell to eventual state champion Hemlock in the state semifinals (57-26) at the Breslin Center.

Hicks & Co. entered this season with invaluable big-game experience and the expectation of picking up where they left off 2022-23. Through 13 games in her senior season, Hicks continues to pack the stat sheet with 12.0 points, 5.8 rebounds, 4.0 steals, and 2.5 assists per contest for the 10-3 Pirates, who will compete in the Division 2 state tournament.

Photos by Scott DeCamp | CatchMark

“She’s kind of the stick that stirs the pot,” said Hart coach Travis Rosema, who picked up his 100th career varsity win Tuesday against North Muskegon. “She’s just full of energy. She will make mistakes, but she works so hard to get back after it and ‘mess up, make up.’

“Just the way she pours herself into her team and loves her teammates, it’s so important for us.”

Hicks, a recent Alma College commit, is a three-sport athlete as she also plays volleyball as a right-side and softball as a catcher and shortstop. The 17-year-old daughter of Don and Erin Hicks carries a GPA in the 3.8 range and attends some of her classes at West Shore Community College.

Recently, Hicks has interned at Ludington Hospital with the goal of becoming a nurse, following in her mother’s footsteps.

Hicks seems to be a bit on the shier side until she gets to know somebody, but totally believes in her abilities.

“She’s not shy. She’s not shy,” Rosema said with a smile. “She’s a goofball at practice. She has a pretty good pterodactyl impersonation.”


Hart senior basketball standout Abby Hicks is plenty talented on the hardwood. But, did you know she speaks Pterodactyl? #fyp #csn #catchmarksportsnet #foryourpage #hart #hartpirates #hartbasketball #pterodactyl #dinosaur #screech

♬ original sound – CatchMark.SportsNet

Hicks said she taught younger brother Alex Hicks everything he knows on the wrestling mat — she’s kidding, of course, but maybe not complete.

As leaders of Hart’s basketball team statistically and emotionally, Hicks and Hovey play off each other quite well.

“I think our energy and our focus, we both want to go far, we both have the same goals, and so I think we both just feed off of that,” said Hovey, who is a college basketball prospect and high-level track and field prospect for the next level. “We talk so much basketball, it’s just a lot of fun.”

Hicks wears jersey number 3 in memory of her late sister, Katelyn, who passed away at 17 months old in September 2012.

Hicks is quite self-driven, and her game has grown in each of her basketball seasons.

Hart senior Abby Hicks (Courtney Jimison | CatchMark)

Her freshman year, she began the season on the junior varsity team but was elevated to the varsity squad after an injury to teammate Kendall Williamson. Hicks was a reserve for a Hart team that finished 16-5.

In Hicks’ sophomore year during the 2021-22 season — a 17-4 Hart squad that Rosema said is arguably the best in school history — she began as the first player off the bench but was pressed into starting duty when Jayd Hovey suffered a season-ending injury. Hicks averaged 6.3 points, 4.0 rebounds, 3.6 steals, and 2.4 assists per game.

In the big picture, Hicks ranks first in program history for steals in a game (14), first for assists in a season (98), first for steals in a season (161), second for most assists in a game (10), and fifth for rebounds in a season (154).

“She’s just a great kid,” Rosema said. “You know, since third grade every time she sees me, she steps on my foot. Don’t know what I’m going to do without that next year. Just lucky to have all these great kids I’ve had over the years.”

Lead writer for CatchMark SportsNet and Web Services leader for CatchMark Technologies.

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