ACA guard receives first scholarship offer from Wheaton College

Fred McCormick
Black Mountain News
Asheville Christian Academy senior Caroline Sikkink has been offered a basketball scholarship by Wheaton College.

Asheville Christian Academy’s Caroline Sikkink is still months away from her senior season, but the senior guard has already received her first college scholarship offer. 

The Wheaton College Thunder, an NCAA Division III program in the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin, is the first collegiate team to extend an offer to the 2019 player of the year in the Carolinas Athletic Association in the N.C. Independent Schools Athletic Association. 

Sikkink averaged 14 points per game for a Lions team that finished last season with an 11-12 mark. She pulled down a team-leading 4.4 rebounds per game as a junior. 

ACA girls basketball head coach John Williams believes the offer from Wheaton represents the beginning of what’s to come for his “everything player.” 

“She’s also being recruited by Navy, and I think one of the things that they’re interested in is her ability to impact multiple positions,” Williams said. “She can guard one through five and she plays one through three, but she can also play at the four. But she’s primarily a guard because she’s one of our better ball-handlers, shooters and passers. She checks off a lot of boxes in the game, which is why I think she’s so desirable.”

Not only is Sikkink strong in the athletic arena, in which she plays multiple sports, she excels academically as well. 

“She’s super smart, which is why great academic schools like Wheaton, University of Chicago and others are looking into her,” Williams said. “Obviously, with Navy, you have to meet a lot of criteria to even be a blip on their radar. There are a lot of schools coming to see her this fall, not only because of what she can do physically, but also academically.”

Sikkink has attended the Hoop Lab Training Academy, which operates Team Carolina (Asheville) AAU program, since the sixth grade. The program, which is owned by Williams, a standout at UNC Asheville before being drafted by the Harlem Globetrotters, has produced names like former ACA star and Winthrop University player MaLeeah Langstaff and Owen graduate Chesney Gardner, a member of the USC Aiken roster. 

“Caroline is one of our most disciplined players,” Williams said. “She basically lives at the gym.”

That commitment to improving on the court has Sikkink poised for a big senior season at ACA, according to her coach.

“Last year she was our primary scorer,” he said. “This season we have a roster where anyone can score, so Caroline will be asked to lead. She is the wheel that makes it all go.”

Williams expects the offers will continue to come in for Sikkink throughout the year. 

“I’m not sure what she’ll do,” he said. “But I feel really confident that she’ll be successful no matter what decision she makes.”