Steven Hicks was a unanimous choice as MVP in yesterday's 67-53 Carver win over Edmondson for the MSA B Conference championship. But no shot he has taken in a basketball game has been as critical as the one he took in the back on May 28, 1989, over a pickup basketball game.
That one was a .32-caliber. It entered his lower back just to the right of his spine, collapsed his lungs and damaged his kidney and liver. Eight days later he went home from the hospital with a 14-inch scar up his midsection and a month later the bullet was removed from his right chest.
But the Bears' 6-foot senior point guard recovered to become a starter on last year's B Conference champion and was looking to repeat. "People always remember you for what you do last, so I wanted to go out a champ," Hicks said. "We were here for a reason."
Hicks, who averaged 24 points, eight rebounds, eight assists and three steals during the season, gave Edmondson plenty of reason to remember him yesterday with game-high totals of 18 points and 13 rebounds for the 15th-ranked Bears (15-3). He added eight assists and three steals for good measure.
"He's been that way for two years on varsity and two years on JV," said Carver coach Durce Jackson. "I've been telling people that he's one of the premier guards in the metropolitan area. He's our team captain -- the glue that holds us together."
Hicks was the only returning starter for the Bears, and they began the season with three straight losses. Jackson can take some extra satisfaction from yesterday's win over Edmondson (13-6). "This team isn't as talented as last year's," he said. "I had to do a little more coaching."
Perhaps because of that, the Bears and Hicks are late coming into the public eye. But their strong finish should take care of that. "It seems like we're an underrated team," said Hicks. "We weren't ranked during much of the year even though we're defending champions."
Michael Richardson added 18 points and nine rebounds for Carver. Edmondson was led by Marquise Colleton with 12 points and 11 rebounds. Randolph Edison also scored 12 for the Redskins.