Northern State and head men’s basketball coach Paul Sather are excited to announce the hiring of Sundance Wicks, as the Wolves next assistant coach. Wicks returns to the NSU sidelines after spending the 2015-16 season with the University of San Francisco Dons.
“I’m extremely jacked to be coming back to what I have always called ‘Title Town!’,” explained Wicks. “Anyone that knows my history with Northern knows that this recruiting process started back in 1999 when Paul Sather and Bob Olson were in my kitchen selling my mom and dad on good pheasant hunting land and championship basketball. We have come full circle today, as Coach Sather is still the best recruiter I have ever seen and an amazing head coach that I cannot wait to learn from and definitely cannot wait to go to war with!”
Since his time as a Northern State student-athlete from 1999-2003, Wicks has held assistant coaching positions at NSU, Colorado (2006-07), Northern Illinois (2007-11), and most recently San Francisco. In his season with the Dons, San Francisco finished fifth in the West Coast Conference behind the likes of Saint Mary’s, Gonzaga and BYU. USF tallied a 15-15 record overall and 8-10 record in the difficult WCC.
“We couldn’t be more excited about adding Sundance as our full-time assistant with men’s basketball,” noted Sather. “The wealth of experience he’s had along with his connection to Northern State makes this a tremendous hire. We recruited Sundance to NSU while I was an assistant coach so I’ve known him since he was 17 years old. He’s built an incredible network everywhere he’s been and has the ability to be a very strong recruiter. Never in my life have I seen a person match the energy, effort and enthusiasm he brings each day…it’s a great day to be a Wolf.”
From 2011-15, Wicks worked tirelessly in launching the Arizona Power Basketball Academy. He built APBA from the ground up and served as a skill instructor and program director based out of Gilbert, Arizona. Prior to launching the Arizona Power Basketball Academy, Wicks spent five months training NBA Pre-Draft prospects at the Impact Basketball Academy in Las Vegas. His draft class trainees included Kawhi Leonard (San Antonio Spurs), Alec Burks (Utah Jazz), Isaiah Thomas (Boston Celtics), Xavier Silas (Northern Illinois), Jon Diebler (Ohio State), Malcom Lee (UCLA), and Jordan Williams (Maryland).
Wicks began his collegiate coaching career as a graduate assistant under the legendary Don Meyer for two seasons (2004-06). During his tenure, he helped the Wolves reach the NCAA Division II Sweet 16 in 2005-06. He then joined the Colorado staff for one season (2006-07) as an assistant coach before moving onto Northern Illinois, where he served for four seasons (2007-11) under head coach Ricardo Patton. With the Buffalos and the Huskies, Wicks played an instrumental role in the development of Xavier Silas, who earned first-team All-Mid-American Conference honors in 2010-11 after leading the MAC in scoring with a 22.3 point per game average.
An outstanding collegiate player with the Wolves, Wicks ended his four-year collegiate career as the 25th all-time leading scorer in school history with 1,174 points and helped the NSU to back-to-back Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference titles in 2002 and 2003. A 2-time All-NSIC first team selection, Wicks started every game (105) in his career and was also a 2-time all-conference academic honoree. Wicks remains a member of the NSU record books sitting 29th all-time in scoring (1,174) and 11th all-time in rebounding (665). Wicks was also a member of the Northern State track and field team competing in the 400-meter hurdles, where he was a 2-time All-NSIC performer. As a senior he was honored with the Northern State Clark Swisher Award.
“Once a Northern guy, always a Northern guy. The way this community embraces the University and its student-athletes is unlike any other place I have coached. I have coached in the Big XII, the WCC & the MAC at the division I level and those experiences were amazing, but they aren’t the Northern Experience! This place is the BIG TIME! There is nothing like coming home to the place that has your heart.”
Following his collegiate career, Wicks played professionally in Sweden’s top division for one year with the Sodertalje Kings, leading the team in both scoring (18.0) and rebounding (8.0). He helped the Kings reach the semifinals of the Swedish Cup and was the only American listed in the top-20 of every statistical category at the end of the season.
“My promise to our program, the NSU family and the Aberdeen Community is that every day I will bring the juice. People call me the ‘Juice Man’ for a reason and there is a level of crazy that comes with being a guy who brings an insane amount of energy every day; and that crazy is waking up and attacking every day with your faith, a passion for what you do, and a relentless attitude to win the day at hand.”
Wicks is a 2003 and 2006 graduate of Northern State University with a bachelor’s degree in international business and master’s degree in health, physical education, and coaching. He will begin his duties with the Wolves immediately.
Photo Courtesy NSU Athletics