When Kevin Hicks entered the professional ranks of track and field, not many people knew who he was.
Before the 2005 USA Indoor Track Championship, Hicks did not receive the attention that he deserved.
“Man, I was a nobody,” Hicks said.
That was before he decided to show everyone just what they had been missing. Hicks won a major title a year before at the MEAC Indoor Championship.
“People just didn’t know who I was. They were like who is this kid and where did he come from,” Hicks said.
Well they found out their answer in about 1 minute, 46.97 seconds.
“When I won, everything changed. It was like now everyone was looking forward to seeing me race,” Hicks said.
Hicks had already shown many of the nation’s top runners what the back of his cleats looked like. He won the 2005 Indoor Track Championship, so one would think that his career had peaked, right?
“Everyone around me said I should go (pro) and I considered it. Then it was like God was saying ‘You can settle for this, or you can take it to the next level.'” Hicks chose to do the later, and took his talents to the national stage.
You would think that an athlete with a future bright enough to merit prescription sunglasses would be one of the most celebrated athletes on his own college campus. But as usual, Kevin was getting that Alicia Keys feeling.
“On campus people really didn’t know my name or who I was. I mean unless they were into track, I really wasn’t being recognized,” Hicks said.
That seems odd considering that Kevin won three MEAC titles in both indoor and outdoor track championships in the past two years.
Not to mention the fact that he qualified for the World Championship in 2005 at the Hershey’s 800 Meter Final at The USA World Championship.
If that wasn’t enough, Hicks’ 2005 Indoor title was the first one that a runner from Florida A&M University won since Olympic great, Bob Hayes, did in 1964.
Hicks is also on his way to join Hayes and his former FAMU track Coach Rey Robinson as the only Rattlers to showcase their track and field prowess on the ‘world’s greatest athletic stage’ – The Olympics.
“I hope to get there one day. I’ve run in events that I feel are just as competitive as the Olympics in terms of international competition, so I think I have a shot,” Hicks said.
Coach Robinson felt that Hicks has always had what it takes to make it to the next level.
“Kevin was a good kid. When he ran for us, he was always the first one at practice and the last one to leave. He is going to do well on the next level,” Robinson said.
Kevin’s current coach on the USA Track team, Ken Harden, agrees, “There aren’t a lot of good half mile runners in America. (Hicks) has the potential to be one of the best American runners to come. Kevin has a chance to go for (Olympic) gold some time soon.”
In addition to proving his worth on the track, the third year computer science student from Miami has had to do well in the classroom.
“It can get interesting. I mean the transition had been pretty good, but there are times when training has gotten in the way of school. But I always make sure I maintain in class,” Hicks said.
Whether inside the classroom or on the track, Coach Harden thinks Kevin has what it takes to do both. “Kevin is such a hard worker and dedicated. He is always willing to do what it takes,” Harden said.
Kevin is currently ranked 45th in the world by the International Association of Athletics Federation, a position he isn’t content with. “I won’t stop until I am number one on that list,” Hicks said.
Coach Harden feels Kevin is well on his way to accomplishing that goal. “We are moving in the right direction. If I had 20 more like him, I could do a lot of damage,” Harden said.
Kevin is intent on leaving a legacy, not only here at FAMU, but also on the rest of the world. “I just want people to say that I ran as hard as I could. If I can say that then I have accomplished something special,” Hicks said.
And according to Kevin, if all goes as planned, everyone will know about just how good he is.
Contact Akeem Anderson at firstname.lastname@example.org