Wagener-Salley senior will stay in the area

War Eagle decides against transferring

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NORTH AUGUSTA --- Rakeem Hicks has been thinking things over, and it seems he's staying put.

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Jordan Galther tries to score against a Team Takeover defender. The Georgia Stars won Wednesday, 62-61.   Sara Caldwell/Staff
Sara Caldwell/Staff
Jordan Galther tries to score against a Team Takeover defender. The Georgia Stars won Wednesday, 62-61.

The Wagener-Salley basketball player thought about transferring to Evelyn Mack Academy in North Carolina and reclassifying to 2013, but he's staying home.

"I'm going to focus on going there and doing what I got to do," the rising senior said about Wagener-Salley. "I'm glad I'm going back, because there are a lot of people I've grown up with, a lot of people I go to the park with still today -- we got good chemistry. I'm looking forward to next season."

Hicks, who is 6-foot-9 and listed at 240 pounds, is the lone local player participating in this year's Peach Jam, where he competes for the Georgia Stars 17U squad. The team is off to a 3-1 start at the Peach Jam after two wins on Wednesday.

Hicks has played three total minutes in the four games, and grabbed a rebound and recorded an assist in Tuesday night's 78-68 win against Arkansas Wings Elite.

Looking to the next level, Hicks said Jacksonville is the only school to offer so far, but the big man rattled off a handful of other interested schools, which included Clemson, Marquette, South Carolina and Virginia Commonwealth.

Most coaches suggest Hicks, who averaged a double-double for Wagener-Salley this past season, get up between 245 and 250 pounds. Hicks said his decision will come down to the place where he thinks he can get the best combination of playing time and a good education, as his mother, Rosalyn, has stressed the importance of school.

This past year, Hicks said he's improved with back-to-the-basket moves, bettered his handling and has increased the range.

Although he's usually been sitting on the bench during games this week, he's absorbing everything he learns as he prepares for another high school season.

"I always used to stick out. This is the first time I fit in," Hicks said. "There's a lot of good, talented people here -- a lot of good exposure. It's a great opportunity to come out and meet some different guys."

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