Mayo grad Hicks injured while playing in France
Jordan Hicks was living out his dream. The 2008 Rochester Mayo graduate always wanted to play professional basketball, and if he couldn't play in the United States, then he would head overseas. Last August, a couple of months after graduating from...
Jordan Hicks was living out his dream.
The 2008 Rochester Mayo graduate always wanted to play professional basketball, and if he couldn't play in the United States, then he would head overseas.
That's exactly what he did.
Last August, a couple of months after graduating from Loyola University in Chicago, Hicks signed to play for Union Rennes in France.
He cracked the starting lineup as a small forward and was averaging 11 points and 8 rebounds for the team that was off to a 12-5 start.
"I was playing OK for being a rookie,'' he said, "but I had to adjust to the different style of play over here and personally work on being more consistent night in and night out.''
Union Rennes is part of the French Basketball League's fourth division.
But last week the bottom fell out; Hicks' dream had turned into a nightmare.
He ruptured his Achilles tendon. Season over.
"I simply took a step to drive to the basket,'' Hicks said earlier this week via an e-mail, "and felt something I've never experienced before. It was almost like someone kicked me as hard as they could in my heel.
"I thought I got tangled up with someone but then realized the pop was my Achilles and was in shock for a bit.''
Last Thursday he underwent surgery.
"At least,'' he said, "as a team my last game I was able to help in our victory over the team in third place, just above us in the standings. It put us in a good seat for a battle for the top two playoff spots."
This wasn't the first time Hicks had to deal with an injury or adversity.
At Loyola, Hicks missed two seasons after breaking his left ankle twice.The first time came in his sophomore year and then at the start of his junior year after a misstep in practice.
Adversity? Last year his mother Carla — a single mom — died after a four-year battle with breast cancer.
Before that, in his freshman year at Mayo, he lost his grandfather and father figure (Carla's dad) to liver cancer.
"It's been a mixed bag of emotions,'' he said.
Hicks will recuperate in France for awhile. The prognosis is for six to nine months.
"I plan to see out my contract with the team here and stay until the season ends in April or May considering we make the playoffs," he said. "By that time I hope to have a better idea of what I want to do.
"I'd really like to not end my career this way but this injury will be a test of my willpower and love for the game if I hope to come back. And with some luck.''
Up until the injury, Hicks really enjoyed living in France.
"I love it over here and its culture,'' he said. "I wouldn't mind actually living here for an extended period of time, possibly.
"Outside of basketball, I have been lucky to do some traveling. Over our holiday break, I was able to spend a week in Barcelona and a weekend in Paris which was more than amazing.
"We are only two hours away by train so it is an easy trip. Sometimes when we play in Paris, after the game some of the guys will stay for the weekend.''
He also loves Rennes, a city of 200,000.
"I enjoy going out and enjoying what Rennes has to offer,'' he said. "The city is perfect to me, it's not too big nor too small.
"I am also learning French and hope to be somewhat fluent when I return. The team has me taking French lessons."
He is the only American on the team.
"This is still my dream," he said. "I'm still going to go with it."