Record-setting basketball player leaves legacy of excellence

Senior Angela Van Sickel set the SF State career record for three-point shots when she scored her 134th on Dec. 6. Set to graduate in May, Van Sickel has earned a reputation for excellence on and off the basketball court.

Photo of Angela Van Sickel on the basketball court.

With 134 three-pointers, Angela Van Sickel set a new SF State career record. Alumna Renee Jimenez, head coach of the Cal State San Bernardino women’s basketball team, held the previous record.

“It was a great feeling,” said Van Sickel of her record-setting shot. “When I made that shot, not everybody knew I was close to the record, but the people who did stood up and cheered for me, right in the middle of the game.”

That day the Gators faced the Chico State Wildcats, last season’s California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) champions. The Wildcats were the team to beat, said Van Sickel, but the Gators won 82-65 in the first conference game of the season.

When Van Sickel arrived at SF State four years ago her career in university-level basketball wasn’t guaranteed. As a freshman, she attended the team’s open tryouts to earn her spot on the roster. Now in her senior year, Van Sickel is one of only two seniors who’ve played all four years on the team.

“I’ve been playing basketball ever since I could pick one up,” said Van Sickel. Growing up in Whittier, near Los Angeles, she learned the game with a portable hoop in her backyard and played competitively throughout junior high and high school. 

Van Sickel has consistently been one of the Gator’s top scorers, but she’s also been recognized for her commitment to academics. The cell and molecular biology major arrived at SF State as a recipient of the Presidential Scholarship, the most distinguished academic scholarship available for first-time freshmen at the time. She’s also earned CCAA’s All-Academic honors each year.

Photo of student Angela Van Sickel

Angela Van Sickel

“When you have someone that works hard away from the court and works hard on the court, only good things can happen,” said Head Coach Joaquin Wallace, who has coached Van Sickel since her freshman year. “She’s benefitting from all the work she’s done from her freshman year until now. It’s great to see.”

When asked what kept her motivated on and off the court, Van Sickel said, “I don’t like to let anything slide. After a long day at school all I want to do is shoot hoops, it helps me clear my head and not feel so stressed. I’m lucky to have an outlet like this.”

This season the Gator women’s basketball team has seven wins and seven losses in conference play. Only eight games remain until the CCAA championships. The final regular season game, Van Sickel’s last, will be held March 1 at 5:30 p.m. in SF State’s Main Gym.

-- Gianna Devoto