At the beginning of each new year, Phenom Hoops works to assemble a series of articles centered around unsigned senior prospects. Last season, over one hundred players from North Carolina went on to play at the Division I, II, III or NAIA levels, and that number looks likely to continue increasing with the current senior class. Typically, we take a closer look at guys who are overlooked and underrated, but today’s edition will highlight Jay Hickman of Northwood Temple.
There’s always a circulating debate about the top shooters in the state, and Hickman is someone who has firmly placed himself in the conversation year after year. He’s long, wiry, and embraces his identity extremely well on both ends of the floor. Hickman is a solid athlete with useful off-the-bounce ability and defensive instincts. He rebounds well for his size/position and understands how to apply offensive pressure by moving without the ball. Hickman typically works as a spot-up threat but can operate in various different roles if necessary. He’s been a major x-factor for Northwood Temple, as they always seem to win whenever he plays well.
We’ve seen Hickman dozens of times over the last calendar year, including at our North Carolina Top 80, where he showed out and we stated: “Moving onto a player that might’ve truly been the most prolific three-point shooter at camp, Jay Hickman. He’s a slightly undersized off-guard that possesses a useful all-around skillset, but makes the strongest impression with his abilities from beyond the arc. Hickman is a lethal spot-up threat that only requires a glimmer of daylight to launch incredibly accurate attempts from anywhere within thirty feet. He isn’t restrained to spotting-up and can easily create similar looks for himself off the dribble. Hickman had one contest where he notched eight consecutive three-pointers and still looked ready to hit another handful. He also proved to be a quality ball-handler and bulldog-like defender that plays with intelligence and a strong two-way motor. Next in his development process is working to become quicker, as it would make him even more difficult for opponents to defend. Coach Roberson on Hickman: “Jay is an excellent three-point shooter with a quick release and the ability to heat up. He can put it on the floor and get to the rim against closeouts. He possesses good length and a desire to defend.” Hickman enjoyed an exceptional showing at camp and deserves to have his name included with the top shooters in the state.”
Hickman only continued to solidify his case as one of the most impressive three-point shooters throughout the high school season. He’s been a focal point for Northwood Temple and embraces his identity exceptionally well. Hickman can work as a spot-up threat quite effortlessly but has also shown improvements in all other facets of his game. With increased strength and confidence, he could make even more strides and take his game to another level in the college ranks. Right now, Hickman is between the Division I and Division II ranks but will find success no matter where he ends up.