Senior Keirah Hicks started her high school basketball career at Southside but transferred after her sophomore year to Western, looking for stronger academic and athletic challenges. She played in the state finals with Southside as a freshman, but when coach Dafne Lee-Blakney left, Hicks departed too. With the No. 2 Doves, she is one of the better players in a strong backcourt. The 5-foot-6 guard averages 11.1 points as well as 2.7 assists and two steals. Hicks wants to play in college and is considering her options. An Amateur Athletic Union veteran, she has a "B" average and plans to major in business.
What is your first memory with a basketball?
My first memory was, I had a crate in the alley. One of my little brothers went and got a crate, and we made a goal. It wasn't even a real basketball. It was a little ball that we would play with until we got a basketball. We would play with Fisher-Price and everything. We had several crates in the neighborhood. You would go in one alley and there's a crate [laughs]. We had like different courts.
Why did you leave Southside?
My ninth-grade year, it was great, a big family, but the school was still new when I got there. Then, it did a 360. Everything changed academically. ... I was always good in the classroom, but I felt like I was too good. I really could sit there and know everything before the teachers even did it. It was too slow for me. I was ranked No. 1 in the whole school, and I was like, "I need something more."
Did that relate to basketball, too?
Yeah, because with me playing basketball, if I go to a specific college, I'm not going to be prepared, so I went to my dad and we discussed it, and he gave me a list of schools. I had liked Western from the jump because Western was all I knew at first from basketball.
What was the transition to Western like?
I never get scared of going to school, but I was scared because I was scared to fail. I was scared that I was going to come here and not be as successful as I was at Southside. Once I got here it was really, really, really, really hard because I [hadn't been] challenged. After I got used to it, I got better and I became real comfortable. It was just real hard at first.
Did you fit in with the team?
I think that I was a little uncomfortable, and I say that because I looked at how my stats had changed and Coach T [Tiffany Silver] told me she saw I wasn't playing my game. ... But as we got toward the end [of the season], it was getting better.
How about the girls? It must have been tough coming into an established team with some pretty good players.
I think that was it. I had to get used to that, because most of the teams I was playing for I was always one of the better people, so I was always the one that was looked upon, and now I was the one who was doing the looking. It was just that I had to change my game. It was hard.
Do you think your game has grown?
I really see my game changing. I think I could play different positions. At Southside, I didn't know that I couldn't play defense because I hadn't been exposed to it. When I got to Western, I was exposed to it and I knew I couldn't play defense. I couldn't even use my left hand. This year, I can use my left hand, I'm playing defense. It's like my game became more of an all-around game.
What are you thinking about majoring in?
My father, he has his own business, B-Moor Youth Service, and I want my own business, so probably business or entrepreneurship.
What kind of business do you want to start?
Well, this is what I want to have, and it's been this since I was like 13. I have situations all the time, mostly over the summer where my friends, we're outside playing basketball and we get interrupted maybe by the police sometimes because we're making too much noise. It's like in my neighborhood, we don't have no recreation center, so I want to kind of do something like in D.C., Run N' Shoot, like just have a sports facility. They just got Skateworks out in Woodlawn. That's skating and laser tag and all that. I want to have something that I didn't have, somewhere that's fun. You can go play basketball, batting cages, all that. I want it to be a nonprofit organization, and I want it to be connected to my father's business.