Former St. Martin basketball star Rodrick Sikes has decided on his Division I destination, and he won’t have to travel far from home.
Sikes, who spent the last two seasons at Southwest Mississippi Community College in Summit, verbally committed to South Alabama on Saturday morning.
“I felt like they had everything I was looking for in a school from the academic side,” Sikes said. “Also, I felt like they have a program on the rise and they want to win. I feel like I can be at home at South Alabama.”
Sikes averaged 22 points a game this season for the Bears and was named to the NJCAA Region 23 All-Region Team.
He spoke Saturday morning with USA assistant Russ Willemsen and head coach Matthew Graves, who just finished his fourth year on the job, to inform them of his decision.
The two coaches were happy to get his call, but nobody is more thrilled than his family.
“They were excited, especially my mom,” Sikes said. “She wanted me to be close to home.”
Sikes had plenty of Division I offers, but his three finalists were South Alabama, Morehead State and Central Michigan.
“I kind of made the decision last night, but I didn’t want to jump to conclusions,” he said. “I prayed about it last night and slept on it. This morning, I had one last talk with my family and went ahead and committed.”
He plans to study mechanical engineering at USA and start classes this summer.
Sikes, who typically plays the two-guard, expects to see early playing time in the backcourt at South Alabama.
“I plan on doing whatever they need me to do,” he said. “I know when recruiting me they needed somebody who could score. They’re losing their leading score. I feel like I can do that at South Alabama.”
The 6-foot-1 Sikes made the Sun Herald All-South Mississippi Team as a senior at St. Martin in 2014-15, averaging 19.4 points and 5.2 rebounds.
Sikes is a strong outside shooter, but he’s also a good athlete. He won the dunk contest at Hoopsfest in 2015.
“(South Alabama) shoots a lot of 3-pointers and run a lot of pick-and roll,” Sikes said. “That fits me well.”