The Seton Hall Pirates have found themselves not only one of the most talented centers in the Big East but also an individual embedded in the organization. Cooks has had the privilege to play in three of the major conferences (Big Ten, Big East, and SEC) in her career. Some consider her journey unique, however Cooks considers her journey special.
While at Seton Hall, she averaged 15 points and 6 rebounds on 51% shooting from the field, 43% from the three-point line and 84% from the FT line. Not to mention, she's received All-Big East in both years of being a Pirate.
Where did it all Start for Sidney Cooks?
She was born in Kenosha, Wisconsin, just 30 minutes outside of the Illinois border. Naturally, she began getting involved in sports at a very young age. Cook’s two older brothers and father played a pivotal part in her interest in the game of basketball. Often, Cooks would attend her father and brother's games and be extremely animated. This led to Cook’s mother forcing her to join the cheer team and later other sports.
Some may not know that growing up Cook’s first love was softball. However, due to her family ties with her father and older brothers playing basketball, she figured she’d give it a try. That said, never once did she ever regret that decision. At times, Cooks admits to being defeated mentally and physically, however never once did she consider quitting.
“I don’t think I ever had a moment I didn't want to play basketball,” Cooks emphasized. “I’ve been frustrated, confused, angry but never wanted to quit.”
Sidney Cook’s “Sh3GotGame” Moment
During Cooks’ tenure, she’s been widely recognized throughout the majority of her career. That said, her recognition started in the sixth grade as she towered over most of the girls. Naturally, as her game developed her recognition continued to grow as well. Ultimately, leading to her first-ever offer from Purdue University. Shortly after, an immense amount of offers began to roll in for the Wisconsin native from all different conferences.
“Although softball was my first love, in sixth grade I received my first offer from Purdue University,” Cooks said. “They opened the floodgates and it showed me I can do this.”
In 2017, another significant moment in Cooks's career was when she received the McDonald All-American award. In her junior year, she suffered a severe injury that essentially tanked her rankings significantly. Unfortunately, many schools showed their true colors and revoked their offers. Cooks internalized this and only used it as fuel, once she returned to full form she quickly climbed the ranks once again. Being announced the McDonald’s All-American was more than just receiving an award for Cooks. It was a battle of adversity and a pivotal moment for Cooks.
“It was my final year but my rankings dropped because of an injury,” Cooks emphasized. “Being from Wisconsin, it meant a lot to make this list. Naturally, a bunch of teams dropped their offers, but after I proved them wrong they came back.”
Pros and Cons of Cooks Journey
Transferring is never easy because all it means is change. Drastic change causes much anxiety and Cooks is no different. She’s transferred three times in her career and Cooks admits each time was slightly more difficult. Despite jumping all over the country, she believes she found her home in New Jersey as a Pirate.
Some of the unique moments she recalls during her time at Seton Hall are just the optimistic viewpoint and positive outlook they help bring to her life. As a Pirate, the family she’s been able to build with this team and community is truly special. Not to mention, the number of times she has been rewarded All-Big East. These were special milestones for the Pirates center and symbolized much more than just her efforts on the court.
“There’s the time at practice, I would walk in with my dog and Coach Bozzella would grab my dog and leave the assistance to run practice,” Cooks jokingly admits.
In conclusion, Cooks gives all the praise to her lord and savior as well as her family. She expresses she couldn’t have been here without her support system and family. When asked, if was there any advice she’d like to offer, she responded:
“I’d just like for everyone to remember, your story is your story. I suggest always following your intuition, never burning any bridges, and most important trying to be a leader as much as possible.”