The last six months have seen many changes in the high school basketball career of South Side senior post Malik Hicks.
Hicks made the decision in August to transfer to Arlington Country Day (Fla.), but he re-enrolled at South Side last week.
South Side principal Anita Tucker and coach DaMonn Fuller applied to get Hicks eligible on a hardship, but the school was made aware on Monday his eligibility was denied.
Hicks was a key contributor last season as South Side won the Class AA state tournament with a 32-2 record.
He averaged 23.6 points, eight rebounds and three blocks.
His play for the Hawks during the 2013-14 season helped him earn 10 scholarship offers through July to many high-level NCAA Division I schools. His offers include Cincinnati, Oakland, Lousiana Tech, Western Kentucky, Southern Mississippi, UT Chattanooga, Ole Miss, UT Martin, High Point and Oklahoma State.
Hicks along with teammate and friend Chris McNeal were expected to keep South Side as a contender this season to making the Class AA state tournament for a third consecutive year, but the decision was made to transfer to a prep school in Florida. Arlington Country Day would allow him to get a little more exposure and the ability to play with some high-level basketball recruits.
In December, stories started to surface about ACD, including one by The Florida Times-Union on Dec. 13, 2014, indicating the school could no longer guarantee its graduates the ability to play in college.
ACD has struggled against the NCAA’s Eligibility Center about the curriculum.
So Hicks and his family made the decision to bring him back to Jackson to get away from the supposed academic problems at ACD.
TSSAA stated in its letter to Tucker that Hicks’ decision to leave South Side was not an unavoidable circumstance, and thus his hardship was denied.
Hicks is ineligible on the varsity level for 12 months past his final activity at ACD, which will be after his expected graduation date.
South Side could appeal the decision, but the school will not because the next date for the Board of Control to hear appeals is the same week of the state tournament.
Michael Odom, 425-9754