Alumni Spotlight Jarius Hicklen

Alumni Spotlight - Jarius Hicklen, Class of 2019
Posted on 05/28/2021
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Two years removed from DeSoto High School, Jarius Hicklen walked across the stage with a Bachelor’s degree in Sports Management from Oklahoma Baptist University on May 15, 2021.

Hicklen walked the halls of DeSoto High School as an AP student, enrolled in the Early College High School program which allowed him to take college courses through a partnership with Dallas County College District (Cedar Valley College). Graduating with an Associate’s degree in Applied Sciences before he graduated the following week with his high school diploma, this student-athlete was on his way! “DeSoto ISD did a great job bringing the T-STEM and Early College program to our community,” father Jerry Hicklen explained. “Jarius took advantage of the programs from 7th grade and beyond. I believe it helped chart his path to the success he is achieving.”

Ingrained in the community and local sports programs since he was four years old, Hicklen is a member of a local church, participated in community service projects, internships, pop warner football, and AAU basketball. By the time he entered middle school he was known city-wide as a talented three-sport athlete.  At DHS, he was featured in the Summer 2019 and Male Leadership symposium publications.

During his senior year in high school, being a student-athlete in the most competitive district in the state of Texas, Hicklen was an All-Academic award recipient, 2019 UIL District 7-6A Player of the Year, 2019 Sportsman of the Year and earned a spot on the 2019 UIL 6A All-Region team. He continued earning honors in college, including the Athletic Director's Honor Roll as he led Oklahoma Baptist to their first two NCAA tournament appearances and their first Western GAC championship. Hicklen was voted First Team ALL-GAC and to the NCAA South Central Region All-Tournament Team. “DeSoto High and Cedar Valley College prepared me for a great transition to life on the Hill at Oklahoma Baptist University (Shawnee, OK)” says Hicklen.

Continuing to excel in the classroom and on the court as he prepares for the next chapter of his collegiate career, Hicklen has been accepted to the MBA program at the University of North Florida, with three years of athletic eligibility remaining!  

 “As a family, we are very grateful for the special opportunities afforded to Jarius,” the Hicklen family shared in a joint statement. “He took full advantage of them and worked to excel in the classroom and on the court.”