Status: UK commitment
Point guard | 6-2 | 170
School: Wasatch (Utah)
Hickman became Kentucky’s first commitment for the 2021 class with his Aug. 22 announcement that he would join the Wildcats’ program.
The Seattle playmaker has earned the reputation as one of the best point guards in the class, and his versatile offensive game coupled with his length — a 6-foot-8 wingspan — and defensive upside should make him an instant-impact contributor for the Wildcats next season, no matter who else joins him on the Kentucky roster.
Hickman’s versatility will allow him to mesh seamlessly into a multi-point guard lineup, which could very well be the direction John Calipari goes if freshman Devin Askew returns for a second season at UK and/or the Cats land five-star point guard recruit Hunter Sallis (or another playmaker from the 2021 class).
UK’s coaching staff got to see Hickman quite a bit in his final summer of grassroots basketball while he played alongside major Kentucky target Paolo Banchero — now a Duke commitment — with the Seattle Rotary squad on the Nike circuit. Hickman was the starting point guard and second-leading scorer behind Banchero on that team, and he finished the summer with a 2.4-1 assist-to-turnover ratio. Calipari and lead recruiter Tony Barbee were also in the gym to see Hickman score 36 points and lead his Eastside Catholic squad to an 85-62 victory over Banchero’s high school team toward the end of their junior season.
Hickman will be eligible to officially sign with UK in November.
Hickman averaged 17.3 points, 3.4 assists, 3.7 rebounds, and 2.0 steals per game, making 38 percent of his three-point attempts as a high school junior at Eastside Catholic (Wash.) last season. He’ll play his senior year for Wasatch Academy (Utah), a prep team that competes against a national schedule.
“He’s a bigger lead guard. Maybe he’s 6-2, but that length allows him to guard a variety of positions. Just his strength and physicality and toughness … he definitely has a chip on his shoulder. I think he goes about playing the game that way. And he’s not going to be afraid of the opposing team’s best punch, and he’s willing to guard the opposing team’s best player.”
-Recruiting analyst Corey Evans