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Inside Athletics: Rodrick Sikes

Photo courtesy of USAJaguars.

Photo courtesy of USAJaguars.

Hannah Blackburn, Reporter

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The USA men’s basketball program welcomed new talent, junior guard and Biloxi native, Rodrick Sikes, who was a standout player in his junior college days.

While playing for Southwest Mississippi Community College, the Dean’s List recipient and Mississippi junior college MVP tied for ninth in scoring in the National Junior College Athletic Association Division I conference, which included shooting 76 percent from the free-throw line and 42.9 percent from the floor. Sikes helped his team win a Mississippi state junior college  championship and earned NCJAA All-Region 23 and Second-Team All-America honors.

“Receiving those awards was a very humbling experience,” Sikes said. “My freshman year was a rebuilding year. I think my sophomore season was my breakout season. I worked hard in the summer and I think all that hard work paid off.”

Having the ability to get the open shot was something that took a lot of practice but that hard work played in his favor.

“I spent a lot of time working over and over on form shooting,” Sikes said. “That was a big focus of mine. I also did a lot of beach workouts to help me work on my explosiveness.”

Basketball is something that has been in his life since a child; he was practically born with a basketball in his hands. Both of his parents played college ball and he grew up shooting hoops with his brother, who also played in college. Having a family with ties to the sport was a big help in the development of his career.

“I started playing as young as 2, as far as I can remember,” Sikes said. “My parents gave me a choice to play, and I fell in love with basketball. Having a basketball family really helped. They helped me practice and they gave me insight, or they would take me to the gym to help me workout.”

Tenacity and determination are two things Sikes knows well. It was what allowed him to get to where he is today.

“Coming out of high school, I didn’t have any offers which kind of hurt because I thought I was a better player than that,” Sikes said. “But everything happens for a reason. I just put my trust in God, and after playing junior college I had 21 Division I offers. It came down to South Alabama, Central Michigan and Moorehead State. They all had everything I wanted, but since they all had what I wanted, there’s no need for me to travel far away from home when South is right here.”

The basketball season is right around the corner and practices are already underway. To find out more about Sikes or the men’s basketball team, visit USAJaguars.com.

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Inside Athletics: Rodrick Sikes