In the days leading up to the Jordan Brand Classic on Friday, USA TODAY High School Sports will be catching up with various players to talk about their experiences. In this entry, we talk to Sidney Cooks, a 6-4 Michigan State signee from St. Joseph (Kenosha, Wis.). She is ranked as the No. 5 player overall and No. 2 at her position in the espnW HoopGurlz rankings. As a senior, she averaged 27.6 points, 13.8 rebounds 2.9 assists, 2.6 blocks and 1.8 steals.
I’m from Kenosha and so there’s not a lot of people at all. My graduating class is about 85 people – and that’s considered big. I’ve never been to New York, so I’m just enjoying the atmosphere and excited to be here.
I’m looking forward to definitely winning this time after the McDonald’s game. It’s basically the same team that we had. There are two new girls that are added to the West, so we’re getting to meet them and reconnecting back on the court with the girls on the West. I think it helps a lot that we played together before because we have chemistry now and we know how to communicate with each other.
As far as winning the game, at the end of the day, you remember the MVP but you don’t remember who wins – the East or the West – but just to be able to say that our team pulled it off here would be nice. We want to take it home this time.
I did an all-star game in Wisconsin this past week for my city against another city and I ended up getting MVP for that, but I think this will be my last high school game. I feel like my senior year flew by. Since I was a freshman, I’ve been waiting for high school to go by and I feel like it went slow until this year.
I’m very proud of myself for what I’ve accomplished, but I know this is just the beginning. I’m going to Michigan State and I’ll be there in July. I definitely want to make an impact off the start. I think I picked the right school and I’m excited to get there. When I do get there, I want to show them that I did make the right the decision. I’m just ready to put my foot down when I get there and secure a spot and be able to play. I also was invited again to the Team USA trials in May so I’ll be attending that again.
I had started playing early on with an AAU team, the Milwaukee ABC Knight, that wasn’t really out there, it wasn’t EYBL. I ended up racking up a lot of my scholarships from that team, going to the big tournaments and beating teams that were supposed to be the No. 1 team. I give a lot of credit to them because that’s where it all started in middle school. I went to Midwest Elite Platinum to get some better competition. That ended up adding more scholarships. AAU helped a lot. Basketball in Wisconsin is not very competitive period but especially in my city.
I never wanted to be labeled as just a post because I was big. I always work on my ballhandling, my shooting and things like free throws and assists. If you can play more positions that will get you on the court eventually. Being able to play the 3 to the 5 help me out a lot.
Where I am now, though, is just the start of my career with basketball.