Michigan State women’s basketball added its second player from the class of 2017–Sidney Cooks, a five-star, 6-foot-4 forward from Kenosha, Wisconsin. She signed with MSU over UCLA, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Purdue.
Cooks, according to ESPNU HoopGurlz, received a grade of 98 out of 100. She is the No. 5 overall recruit in the 2017 class and the No. 2 forward.
“We are beyond excited to welcome Sidney to the Spartan Family. She is extremely talented and brings tremendous versatility and skill to our program. At 6-4, she has the ability to play multiple positions on the court as well as block shots and rebound in the paint,” MSU coach Suzy Merchant told msuspartans.com. “We love that Sidney has a championship mentality as she has won at every level from middle school, high school, AAU, and internationally with USA Basketball. She’s driven, hard-working, and a relentless competitor. There is no doubt that Spartan Nation will enjoy watching her play for the next four years.”
Last season, Cooks crossed the 1,000 point mark with her high school team, St. Joseph Catholic. She led St. Joseph in 2016 with 23.1 points, 12.5 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 3.7 blocks per game. Those numbers were good enough for all-state and all-area honors for Cooks.
Besides being a high school basketball standout, she plays AAU ball for Midwest Elite and averages a double-double, and she also has international experience with the USA U18 team, winning the 3×3 World Championship in 2016.
From ESPN’s player evaluations, the following was said about Cooks at the Boo Williams Invitational in April 2016:
“Agile faceup-4 prospect with length in front court; stretches the defense to the arc complemented by mid-post game; shot blocking presence, mobility; an elite prospect in the class of 2017.”
Cooks is the second 2017 recruit Merchant will be bringing to East Lansing. The first to sign was 5-foot-11 guard Claire Hendrickson, from Wyoming, Michigan.
“Claire’s versatility is something that we always look for in players, and she brings that to the guard position,” Merchant told msuspartans.com. “For us to be able to have a versatile guard that can do multiple things and play multiple positions is important. We pride ourselves on the ability to create opportunities through mismatches.”
Hendrickson missed most of her junior season after an ACL injury and was not ranked on ESPNU HoopGurlz Top 100. As a sophomore, she averaged 14.0 points, 7.0 assists, 3.5 steals, and 3.5 rebounds,good enough to earn Honorable Mention for Class A All-State that year.
Michigan State will most likely lose three players after the 2016-17 season: senior guard Tori Jankoska, redshirt senior guard Branndais Agee and graduate student forward Taya Reimer.