With a police sergeant father who won a college basketball scholarship and a mother who is director of high schools for the county, Edmund Hicks had a lot to live up to -- both in and out of the classroom.
Having earned All-County football honors and a B- average at South River High School, Hicks met the challenges. And he cites his parents as the chief inspiration.
"It's always been my goal to outdo my father," he said. "He won a full [basketball] scholarship to Marshall [W.Va.] University after playing at Bates [High School]. I wanted to get a scholarship one kind of way, whether it be athletic or academic. And with my mother in her position, you talk about pressure!
"But it's good to have pressure like that," he added. "It just makes you strive harder to do better."
The recent South River graduate is honing his basketball skills in the Annapolis Summer League as he prepares to take his athletic and intellectual talents to Washington College, in Chestertown on the Eastern Shore. He plans to major in psychology.
Hicks, 18, was an All-County offensive guard and roverback in football and a second-team selection at forward in basketball. His B- average in the classroom included such courses as calculus and advanced placement English.
The 6-4, 175-pounder gives a lot of the credit to his father, Annapolis City Police Sgt. Charles Hicks; his mother, Shirley, the director of county senior high schools; and older brother Charles Hicks V, an ex-South River basketball player and recent graduate of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
"My family definitely played a major role in my development," Hicks said. "They did a great job of supporting me. I can't remember too many times when I didn't see both of them at a game. Even my brother would come up from North Carolina to see me in the big games. I think that will be my fondest memory, seeing my family in the crowd, cheering me on."
The affable Hicks gave his family lots to cheer about. In his senior year, he averaged 15 points and seven rebounds per game while helping lead the Seahawks to a best-ever 23-4 record and a berth in the state playoffs.
On the gridiron, he used every ounce of his slender frame to open up holes for South River's vaunted running game, again helping his team to the state playoffs.
"Edmund has been very well trained by his parents," said South River High assistant and summer league head coach Jack Jordan. "They've done a very fine job with him. He's a fine all-around kid, and he has the respect of the community and the school. His parents deserve all of the credit."
Playing on one of the summer league's youngest teams is making Hicks and his mates strive even harder to improve their games. Despite his team's 0-5 record, Hicks relishes the competition he faces night after night at the Truxtun Park courts.
"Playing in this league will help me out a great deal," he said. "The guys we play against sometimes are as close to pro as you can get.
"Just bringing the ball up court is hard enough. If you don't watch out, they'll strip you and go in for a dunk or layup. It ages you, makes you mature faster and it makes you play on your toes. And the crowds are great -- they'll let you know it when you mess up."
Hicks said he hopes his success and that of his friend and teammate Al Lee, who recently accepted a baseball scholarship to Mount St. Mary's College, help inspire the community's young people.
"I'm not an angel, but I'm not a devil either," he said. "I just try to be a good leader and role model. I hope that young kids coming up do better than me.
"I realize that in this [Annapolis] area especially, young blacks don't receive a lot of positive press or recognition. You don't hear about us until we're failing, in jail or dead."