For the Indiana Tech men's basketball program, having a former play sign a pro contract is beginning to be a growing trend.
The Warriors recently added to its list of alums that are now being paid to play, as former Warrior forward James Hicks signed a contract with a team in Australia.
Hicks will play for Warrandyte Venom of the Big V Division One basketball league in Australia.
“I look forward to becoming a great asset to the team as well as the fans," Hicks said in a release. "Nothing better than winning games and helping out with the supporters, because without them this sport I love wouldn't be where it is today."
Prior to signing the deal, Hicks, a 6-foot-8 forward from St. Louis, spent one season with the Lima Explosion of the American Basketball Association (ABA).
With the Explosion, he averaged a double-double scoring 17.4 points and 13.6 rebounds per game. Hicks shot 82 percent from the free throw line and 30 percent from behind the arc. In addition to his offensive output, Hicks was also a force on the defensive end blocking 4.2 shots and adding 3.5 steals a night.
During his senior campaign at Indiana Tech, Hicks helped lead the Warriors to a 22-11 overall record, with an NAIA Top 25 ranking, as the Warriors climbed to as high as 15th.
He led Indiana Tech to the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference Tournament championship game, where it fell to eventual national champion Cornerstone University.
During his senior campaign, Indiana Tech completed one of the best turnarounds in the nation with 11 more wins than the previous year.
Hicks was named to the WHAC All-Defensive Team and was an integral part of a defensive unit that was one of the best units in the country.
The Warriors ranked first in scoring defense per game, holding opponents to just 58 points per game, and ranked second in total rebound defense (29.7).
Indiana Tech was also top-20 in field goal percent defense (.408). Hicks was one of the conference's top shot blockers, finishing his senior year with 67, which ranked seventh in the country. He was also a terrific rebounder, grabbing 221 boards with an average of 6.7 per contest.
“I intend to take my experiences, knowledge, wisdom and talents to the next level of success here with the Venom," Hicks said. "I've heard nothing but compliments of the culture and its endeavors, which I will treasure during my stay."
Hicks is the fourth former player to sign a pro deal in Head Coach Al Grushkin's tenure at Indiana Tech, joining Rodney Bartholomew (NBADL), Manny Hendrix (Australia), and Chris Ware (Romania).