Sue Wicks
Sue Wicks, being honored at Rutgers-UConn game
Personal information
Born (1966-11-26) November 26, 1966 (age 56)
Center Moriches, New York, U.S.
Listed height6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)
Listed weight174 lb (79 kg)
Career information
High schoolCenter Moriches
(Center Moriches, New York)
CollegeRutgers (1984–1988)
WNBA draft1997: 1st round, 6th overall pick
Selected by the New York Liberty
Playing career1997–2002
Career history
19972002New York Liberty
Career highlights and awards
Stats at
Women's Basketball Hall of Fame
Women's basketball
Representing  United States
Pan American
Gold medal – first place 1987 Indianapolis Team Competition

Susan Joy Wicks (born November 26, 1966) is a former basketball player in the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA). She played with the New York Liberty from 1997 to 2002.[1] Wicks was inducted into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in 2013.[2] She currently serves as a collegiate basketball coach.

Early years

Born in Center Moriches, New York, Wicks played for Rutgers University from 1984 to 1988. While at Rutgers, she was named a Kodak All-American in 1986, 1987 and 1988, and in 1988 she won the Naismith, U.S. Basketball Writers Association, Women's Basketball News Service and Street & Smith's National Player of the Year awards. She was Player of the Year in the Atlantic 10 Conference in 1986, 1987 and 1988, winning the Atlantic 10 Tournament MVP award in 1986 and 1988, and sharing it in 1987. She also was named to All-Regional Teams in the NCAA tournament in 1986 and 1987. She holds the Rutgers records for points scored (2,655), rebounds (1,357), scoring average (21.2 ppg), rebounding average (10.9 rpg), field goals made (1,091) and attempted (2,099), free throws made (473) and attempted (641), and blocked shots (293). The scoring and rebounding totals are records for a male or female player at Rutgers.

She was a gold medalist in the 1987 Pan-American Games.[3]

Following her college career, she played professionally in Italy, Japan, Spain and Israel before the WNBA was founded. In 1997, she was signed for the inaugural WNBA season by the New York Liberty, to fill the role of back-up center. The Liberty played at the WNBA championship game, losing to the Houston Comets, 65–51.

Rutgers statistics


  GP Games played   GS  Games started  MPG  Minutes per game
 FG%  Field goal percentage  3P%  3-point field goal percentage  FT%  Free throw percentage
 RPG  Rebounds per game  APG  Assists per game  SPG  Steals per game
 BPG  Blocks per game  PPG  Points per game  Bold  Career high
Year Team GP Points FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
1985 Rutgers 28 417 50.7% NA 60.5% 8.8 1.5 NA NA 14.9
1986 Rutgers 33 719 54.3% NA 72.7% 10.1 2.5 NA NA 21.8
1987 Rutgers 33 726 50.1% NA 75.8% 12.2 2.5 NA NA 22.0
1988 Rutgers 31 793 52.6% 0.0% 81.2% 12.1 2.6 2.6 2.5 25.6
Career 125 2655 52.0% 0.0% 73.8% 10.9 2.3 0.6 0.6 21.2

WNBA career

On April 28, 1997, Wicks was drafted with the 6th overall pick of the 1997 WNBA Draft to the New York Liberty. She would go on to play 6 seasons in the WNBA, all 6 of them being a member of the Liberty.[5] Her debut game was played on June 21, 1997 in a 67 - 57 victory over the Los Angeles Sparks where she recorded 2 points, 1 rebound, 1 steal and 1 block.

Wicks mostly came off the bench for the Liberty but did start 45 of 182 regular season games, including 30 starts (out of 32 games played) in 1999. Wicks starting in 1999 was due in part to her defensive skills. She developed into a fan favorite and was voted by the fans as a starter in the 2000 WNBA all-star game. In 2000, she received the WNBA's top award for sportsmanship, the Kim Perrot Sportsmanship Award.

In 1997, 1999 and 2000, Wicks and the Liberty reached the WNBA Finals, only to be beaten by the Houston Comets every time. In 2002, Wicks and the Liberty returned to the Finals again, but this time, they lost to Lisa Leslie and the Los Angeles Sparks. After being defeated in the 2002 Finals, Wicks would not play in the WNBA again, as she announced her retirement on April 29,2003.[6] Her final WNBA game was Game 2 of the 2002 Finals on August 31, 2002. The Liberty lost the championship game to the Sparks 66 - 69 with Wicks recording 2 points, 4 rebounds and 1 steal.

In 182 WNBA games played, Wicks scored 823 points, for a total of 4.5 points per game, had 182 assists for one assist per game, recovered 788 rebounds, for a total of 4.3 per game, and had 158 blocks, for a total of 0.90 blocks per game. She finished her WNBA career as the number eight leader of all times in shots blocked.[7]

Personal life

Wicks was one of the few players willing to discuss sexual orientation in the WNBA during her career. She said, "I can't say how many players are gay ... but it would be easier to count the straight ones."[8] She also said she found it "annoying" that the league almost exclusively promoted those who were mothers. "I like it when they give insight into athletes, and I think it's great when they say, 'Here's a player and her husband and baby.' But I'd love to see a couple of women profiled, too, especially if they had a great, solid relationship, just to show that in a positive light."[8]

In 2002, she came out as gay, making her the first openly gay person playing in the WNBA.[9]

Coaching career

Since retiring from professional basketball, Wicks formed an all-girls basketball camp in New York City. In 2004, she completed her bachelor's degree at Rutgers and was hired as the Coordinator of Operations for the Rutgers women's basketball team. In 2005, she was named an assistant coach of the team.

Wicks was inducted into the Suffolk Sports Hall of Fame on Long Island in the Basketball Category with the Class of 1991. She was inducted into the Rutgers Basketball Hall of Fame in 1994[10] and was inducted into the university's Hall of Distinguished Alumni in 2005. She is one of only two Rutgers women's basketball players to have her jersey retired.

In July 2006, she became the Assistant Coach for the women's basketball team at Saint Francis College in Brooklyn, New York.[10] After leaving her assistant coaching position at Saint Francis College, Wicks said that she felt that being an out lesbian was an overwhelming liability in getting a job as a women's basketball coach.[11]

Hall of Fame

Wicks was inducted in the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in June 2013.[2] She did not have a prepared speech, but spoke extemporaneously, thanking Pat Summitt for her leadership in the formation of the Hall of Fame.[12] Her credentials included selection as a Kodak All-American three times, and the record-holder of career points and rebounds at Rutgers, records which had not been surpassed by any male or female players at Rutgers at the time of the induction. She also played professionally in the WNBA and was on the gold medal-winning USA Basketball Pan-American Games team in 1987.[13]


  1. ^ Whiteside, Kelly (22 August 2021). "At 25, Liberty Celebrate 'Magical Moment' in Women's Basketball". New York Times. Retrieved 2021-11-23.((cite news)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  2. ^ a b "Sue Wicks". Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame. Retrieved 2021-11-23.
  3. ^ "Tenth Pan American Games -- 1987". USA Basketball. June 10, 2010. Archived from the original on 7 September 2015. Retrieved 15 October 2015.
  4. ^ "Women's Basketball Finest" (PDF). Retrieved 2017-10-03.
  5. ^ "Sue Wicks Player Info". WNBA. Archived from the original on December 29, 2014. Retrieved June 1, 2014.
  6. ^ "LIBERTY: Liberty Forward Sue Wicks Retires".
  7. ^ "Sue Wicks Bio". 1998-04-26. Archived from the original on 2013-05-23. Retrieved 2013-12-05.
  8. ^ a b Solomon, Alisa (August 8, 2000), "Sue Wicks's Forward Behavior", The Village Voice, p. 2, retrieved February 8, 2010
  9. ^ Sport in a Changing World, by Howard Nixon II, published by Routledge on July 24, 2015, pg. 76. Google Books, Accessed 17 June 2022.
  10. ^ a b Henson, Joaquin (July 9, 2009), "Ex-WNBA star joins Spoelstra's RP tour", The Philippine Star, retrieved February 8, 2010[permanent dead link]
  11. ^ Cyphers, Luke; Fagan, Kate (January 26, 2011). "Unhealthy climate". ESPN. Retrieved June 1, 2014.
  12. ^ Cornelius, Maria M. (June 9, 2013). "Six enter Women's Basketball HOF". ESPN. Retrieved 9 Jun 2013.
  13. ^ "They're the class of 2013". ESPN. June 7, 2013. Retrieved 9 Jun 2013.