Growing up a few minutes from Lake Central, Scott Hicko chose to attend Andrean for his high school education.
Close to two decades later, it's a decision he still cherishes.
"It was the smaller class size and the core values they focus on, developing the whole student," Hicko said. "It's not just basketball, it's the academics, the spirituality."
A 1996 graduate who played for Bob Buscher, Hicko has been an assistant coach at his prep alma mater since 2008. As of Wednesday, he is now its head coach, having been chosen to succeed Carson Cunningham.
"I'm very excited obviously to continue to be a part of it," said Hicko, who teaches at the Westlake Special Education Cooperative. "I'm not Catholic, but I'm a firm believer in Jesus Christ, and I'm glad to be able to work in a place where I can talk about my faith and really help kids above and beyond basketball, to develop people who are ready to face the work force, college.
"Basketball is just a consequence of that."
Prior to his time at Andrean, Hicko spent five years as an assistant for Mike Jones at Wheeler.
"Everywhere Scott has coached, the program became stronger on his arrival," Andrean Athletic Director Billy Mueller said in a media release. "Scott has a deep appreciation for the balances that are required for student athletes.
"We're fortunate to hire a coach with his passion. Scott can help our students both on and off the court."
While Hicko will be a head coach for the first time, his familiarity with the unique situation of a school like Andrean will help in the process.
"I've coached under two good coaches," Hicko said. "I learned a lot from Carson, knowing the ins and outs, having an idea of what he went through (coaching here).
"Obviously, you don't carry the full weight until you're in the position. It's more time, more responsibility, which is something I talked with my wife about. It's going to be a challenge, but I'm ready for it."
Andrean graduates nine seniors from a team that reached the Class 3A semistate last season and the regional in 2012.
"It's a whole different team," Hicko said. "They're starting fresh. They understand it's going to be tough, but that (2013) group struggled early on, too. They didn't get where they were overnight. They had to overcome things, and this group will have to do the same.
"As long as they're willing to do what it takes to be a successful human being, work hard and want to get better every day, we can continue the cycle athletically and do special things."