Hicks’ mourners: Heaven gained an MVP

Nicquel Terry
The Detroit News

Detroit — To family and friends, Mylan Hicks was more than just No. 6 for the Michigan State football team.

Hicks was a loyal friend, a selfless young man and an inspiration to everyone around him. On Friday mourners at his funeral all agreed that heaven has gained an MVP.

“He just gave his all in everything he did,” said Jazzmine Fowlkes, Hicks’ older sister. “Whatever you needed he was there. Whether it be love, mental support, financial support.”

Hicks’ life was celebrated during a funeral held at New Providence Baptist Church, where pews were filled with loved ones who hugged, cried and even laughed as they shared memories of the 23-year-old standout football player.

Hicks died Sept. 25 in Calgary when he was gunned down during an altercation outside a nightclub. He played for the Calgary Stampeders in the Canadian Football League.

Hicks was undrafted out of Michigan State after earning his psychology degree, but was signed as a free agent by the San Francisco 49ers in 2015. He signed in May with the Stampeders and was a member of the practice squad.

Hicks played for the Spartans from 2010-14, recording a career-high 19 tackles as a senior in 2014. Injuries limited him during his time with the Spartans and he finished with 27 tackles in 32 games.

As a senior at Detroit’s Renaissance High School in 2009, Hicks was ranked a four-star prospect and the No. 10 cornerback in the country by Scout.com.

Family and friends said Hicks was living his dream of playing professional football. Chris Norman, who played with Hicks at Renaissance High School and MSU, said Hicks had accomplished all of his goals.

“Mylan reminded me of what it meant to be driven,” Norman said. “He taught me what it meant to be passionate.”

Norman said he also learned another important lesson from Hicks’ death: you never know when your time on Earth will be over.

“Because we don’t know our time, we have to make the best use of it,” Norman said.

MSU football coach Mark Dantonio attended the funeral and said a No. 6 will be printed on the 50-yard line in honor of Hicks for Saturday’s game against BYU.

There will also be an endowed scholarship created to honor Hicks’ legacy, Dantonio said.

Dantonio recalled Hicks as a strong and resilient person who couldn’t be knocked down, even after his injuries.

“He had that gleam in his eye and that smile. He looked at you and you’d ask him a question and he’d say ‘yes coach,’ ” Dantonio said.

nterry@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @NicquelTerry