BELLINGHAM, Wash. – Despite originally being expected to miss the entire 2014 International Basketball League season due to an overseas playing commitment, guard Rico Wilkins has returned to the Bellingham Slam and will suit up for the team this year.
In February, Wilkins left for Morocco after signing his first contract with an overseas team, Wydad AC of Casablanca. But after the Moroccan club was found to be in violation of the terms of the contract, Wilkins left the team to return to the United States.
As a result, the 5-foot-11 former Western Washington guard will be bringing his up-tempo style of play back to Bellingham and the IBL, hoping to pick up where he left off after a strong rookie campaign in 2013.
Fresh off his senior season with the Vikings, last season Wilkins quickly impressed during his first season as a pro, averaging 17 points, 4 rebounds and 3 assists per game. He was particularly strong in the Slam’s two games in the IBL playoffs, where he put up a combined 51 points and was the runner-up for Championship game Most Valuable Player honors.
At the conclusion of the season, Wilkins was named the IBL’s Sixth Man of the Year by the basketball website USbasket.com, becoming the first Bellingham player ever to earn that award.
Prior to joining the Slam, Wilkins competed for three seasons at Western Washington, helping the Vikings win the NCAA Division-II National Championship in 2012 as a junior, before reaching the Four again as a senior.
Wilkins and the Slam will tip off the 2014 IBL season at Whatcom Pavilion this Friday with a match-up against the Seattle Flight. Game time is set for 7 p.m. You can hear the game on KBAI 930AM or www.930kbai.com beginning at 6:35pm.