Sue Wicks (Basketball Player/Coach)

sue-wicks.jpgSue Wicks (born Susan Joy Wicks on November 26, 1966 in Center Moriches, New York) 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.

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.

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.

Wicks spent more than 15 years playing professionally overseas. By 1999, Wicks had assumed the starting center position at her team, due in part to her defensive skills. She developed into an All-star player, participating in each WNBA All-Star Game from there until her retirement. In 2000, she received the WNBA's top award for sportsmanship, the Kim Perrot Sportsmanship Award.

In 1999 and in 2000, 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.

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." 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."

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 and was inducted into the university's Hall of Distinguished Alumni in 2005. She is only one of 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.

Related Links:
Sue Wicks on Wikipedia