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"It’s hard finding something that fits who I am when I’m a work in progress." ― Simone[source]

Simone Hicks (formerly Baker) is a recurring character in the The CW series All American and the main protagonist of its spinoff All American: Homecoming.

Simone was a student at Beverly Hills High School and upon graduating, moved to Atlanta to attend Bringston University. She wants to start a new life in pursuit of her tennis dreams. While being a student athlete at an elite HBCU and fighting to become a professional tennis player is anything but easy, Simone learns there is inspiration and joy in becoming who you are meant to be while surrounded and celebrated by your own. She finds a new family she hopes to keep at Bringston.

Biography

Throughout All American

She and Jordan slept together at some point in time, allowing her to trick Jordan into thinking he got her pregnant, since her child's actual father is unreliable. She and Jordan have a friendship throughout season 2 until he confesses his love for her in the finale, and they subsequently start dating. In season 3, she gave the kid up for adoption. In the seventh episode of season 3, it is revealed that Simone and Jordan got married in Las Vegas over the summer, unbeknownst to anyone other than Spencer and Olivia, who were in attendance. They later had their marriage annulled. They stay together through long-distance relationship until late in season 4, when she returned to Los Angeles and South Crenshaw when she realized that Jordan and Layla became closer than ever, while in the meantime: His friendship with Spencer drifted apart.

Throughout Homecoming

Season One

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Simone pushes two carts full of bags through campus as she recaps her crazy year. She never thought she would end up at Bringston University, but fell in love with the campus during a visit. She thinks the fresh start will be good for her, and maybe she'll find her people. Twelve hours earlier, in Beverly Hills, California, Simone says bye to her boyfriend Jordan, her son who she gave up for adoption Shay, and Beverly Hills.

Nathaniel and Keisha McCalla meet Simone at Bringston, scolding her for being inactive in the group chat. Keisha is now the RA and has to deal with other students. Nate asks about her boyfriend or entourage, as she’s alone. Nate steps up to help her despite her protests. Room 211 is hers and it's a single room. Once alone, Simone wants to text Jordan about missing him and the baby but erases it. She mumbles that she needs to be a Bringston girl and wear her big-girl pants.

Simone practices on the tennis court when Thea and her friend intervene. Thea makes a point of telling Simone that four other girls are striving for a spot on her team. On this team, things won’t be handed to her, it has to be earned. That’s why they’re the best. Only the best woman will win the spot. Simone wants to get back to practicing, so Thea reminds her that real practice starts tomorrow and since the NCAA limits coaches’ hours, she’ll be running the drills, and her opinion does matter.

Simone continues to practice until her Aunt Amara stops by to apologize for missing Simone's college move-in. To celebrate Simone's move, Amara gives her a gift basket. The basket includes condoms. Amara picks up that Simone is homesick, so Simone opens up about her struggles. Amara knows Simone will find her footing and her people. With time, Bringston will start to feel like her home.

Keisha gives the new dorm mates a welcome speech. She wraps it up so they can go party, much to Nate’s glee. Simone and Nate praise Keisha for her political future, and Keisha admits she wants Damon’s hot roommate in her future. Simone is surprised that Damon lives on-campus, so Nate and Keisha tease her about her excitement. Keisha plans to call Damon and his cute roommate to hang out, so Nate reminds Keisha of her vow of celibacy after the Lisa breakup. As they playfully bicker, Thea and her friend walk in, which annoys Simone. They invite her out to part, but she plans to shower and call it a night.

Simone walks to her dorm from the sower in only a towel. She’s locked out of her dorm, and Keisha isn't answering the adjourning dorm. She grabs a blanket from the couch and then runs into Damon - literally. He remarks soulfully on it being Simone Hicks. Coming around the corner, Keisha spots them and smirks at the situation.

Now in her room, Simone FaceTime's Jordan so they can talk about being so far away from one another. She comments on the music in the background, and he admits JJ is throwing another party. Keisha interrupts to steal Simone for a party. She greets Jordan happily when she sees him on the call with Simone. He tells Keisha not to take no for an answer. Keisha nods and ends the call then tells Simone to get ready.

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They head to a bonfire where the Fraternity leader of Kappa Epsilon Kappa gives a welcome speech. He makes them repeat after him, “I am! Brilliant! I am! A leader! I am! Black excellence! We are…Bringston Lions”. Even Damon is lured into the power chant. The students dance around the bonfire to the DJ’ed music. Simone is dancing with Keisha when Cam walks over, as he’s Damon’s roommate. Keisha wonders how they know each other, and Simone clarifies that he was Spencer’s biggest rival and was best friends with her ex. Keisha demands his last name, and he gracefully introduces himself as Cam Watkins. Simone proclaims it’s gross and pulls him aside to talk with him.

She thought he was playing football in Alabama or Oregon, but he admits the coach made an offer he couldn’t refuse. He also wanted to be around his people with everything going on in the world. He asks about Keisha but Simone tells Cam to leave her alone. He stops her to clarify that Dane wasn’t his best anything. He was an ass and the way he treated her when she was pregnant wasn’t cool. She asks him not to spread her business as it’s not public knowledge that she had a baby and gave him up for adoption. Cam assures her that her secret is safe with him. College is about starting over. Damon intervenes to tell her their song is playing and guides her away. Once out of earshot, she wonders if he’s high. He chuckles that he’s saving her.

The pair sit on a bench and Damon asks if she and Cam are friends. She says they’re acquaintances but appreciates his misplaced gesture. He promises to mind his business next time. He’s happy to see her at Bringston after all, but also notes she doesn’t seem too happy. She admits she’s homesick and he asks if she misses her husband, which she does then corrects that it’s back to boyfriend now. She appreciates him minding his business on that one. It’s not just that, she saw all the families moving in and it made her realize the complications with her mother. Damon can relate to that. She wants what the other students have - a parent to help them hang their curtains so they don’t have to figure out power drills themselves. He remarks that statement is oddly specific. He thinks families are highly overrated. She wonders who hurt him as a child. He states that it could be the parents who put him up for adoption as a baby or the mother who loves the baseball player more than the son. She apologizes and he remarks that it came out more depressing than he meant. Keisha intervenes to pull Simone out to dance. She invites Damon but he has to go but thinks she deserves a crazy, great night. Simone begins to drink.

In the morning, Simone begins tennis practice and Thea warns them they’ll be there for a while. Tryouts are intense as Thea drills Simone to hit ten returns in a row and refuses to move on until she does. Simone keeps trying but feels tired as she fumbles her shot. Once tennis tryouts are almost over, Simone jogs off the court. Thea stops her as Coach Loni has seen enough and is sending her home. Simone is confused as Thea said Loni couldn't be on the field. Thea admits that she’s always watching, showing her a series of text messages in which Loni admonishes Simone for sloppy footwork and unacceptable training. She gestures to a parking garage where a car is parked.

She heads back to the dorms and lays on Nate’s bed, worrying that the universe is telling her she picked the wrong college. Nate assures her the universe is just telling her that she’s grown and the late-night partying decisions have next-day consequences. Keisha enters and Simone invites her to sit as Nate is giving inspiration. Nate notices Keisha’s expression and asks what’s wrong. Keisha just got a call from the residential department, and there’s an issue with Simone’s campus housing. Only her tuition was paid for that semester, not her room and board. Her dorm assignment was a mistake. Simone knows it was paid as her parents paid for it.

That night, Simone reveals that her mother isn’t paying for her anymore. If Simone insists on defying her impulsive choices that will wreck her future, her mother wants no part of it. Anything outside of an ivy league or Stanford is wrecking your life. Keisha wonders why her mom wouldn’t take it all away, and continue to pay her tuition but not board. Simone’s father put his foot down on that one. Keisha remarks that he stood up for something, at least. Nate answers a knock on the door to find Amara, who hugs Simons as she heard the news. She and her sister will have words about this, regardless of whether they’re estranged or not. She offers to let Simone stay with her until they figure out the dorm situation. Nate adds that she’s the Queen of navigating the financial aid department and will help Simone navigate that. Simone thanks both of them. Amara knows the days have been tough but the blessing is around the corner. Keisha adds that she might have to fight harder for it. They have a group hug, and Simone has to leave to fight harder for something important to her.

Simone runs to the elevators as Thea passes. Simons wants to find Coach Loni but Thea knows the coach has seen enough today. Simone knows she’s messed up but she needs Loni to know she’ll never see Simone like that again. Coach Loni believes in actions and not words, but Simone plans to show it to her every day to prove she’s an asset. She walks off and Thea nods, a bit impressed.

As everyone packs up Simone’s room, Damon, JR, and Cam arrive with power tools. Nate appreciates the image but wonders why they’re there. Damon admits they’re going to put up the curtain rods. Simone appreciates the sweet offer but she’s moving out so they are off the hook. Cam thanks her and gets ready to leave when Amara stops him as there is plenty of manual labor that needs to be done, and if they’re lucky, there’s a meal at the end of it. JR laughs that she had him at a meal. Damon and Simone exchange a smile.

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At Amara’s house, the group sits around the table and laughs over dinner. Cam thanks Amara for the meal, and she acknowledges that any friend of Simone is welcome anytime. Nate wonders if the food will be this good so they can make it a regular thing. Simone likes that idea - a family dinner once a week. Simone thanks everyone for not only helping her move but everything else they have done for her in their short time together. She wouldn’t have made it the past few days without them. Amara knows she would as she’s resilient. Keisha adds that the same goes for Ms. P, as everyone heard rumors about them cutting back on her classes. This is news to Simone, but Amara assures everyone it’s okay. Keisha knows it’s not okay but as a people, they should be standing behind her for doing what’s right not tearing her down. Nate adds that everyone has her back - they aren’t going to let them take Amara from everyone. Amara doesn’t plan to let that happen either. She was rattled at first, but the youngins have inspired her. She plans to share her knowledge in any way that she can. She then has them help clean up the dinner. Damon tells Simone he was wrong for what he said before at the bonfire about family. JR overhears Damon talking about his adoption and how family comes in all forms. Damon adds to Simone that what she and her aunt have is special and she knows that. She gets up to help clear the table.[1]

The students gather for class registration. Damon teases Simone for talking to herself, leading to witty banter between them. He encourages her to put last week's tennis mistake behind her. That afternoon, Coach Loni breaks down the schedule for the tennis players. They discuss Queen of the Court, a tradition at Bringston. Thea is the reigning Queen and schools the uninitiated. It’s teammate versus teammate in a series of single-elimination matches. The last two women standing will battle to become Queen of the Court. As everyone gets ready to practice, Loni calls Simone over as her physical is out of date. She tells her to fix it as she’s on solo practices until then.

After practice, Nate finishes a student's hair while Simone and Keisha watch. Simone wonders if she needs a side job since Nate is performing so well in hers. Keisha offers to hook Simone up with a work-study job using her connections.

Simone works out in the gym then heads to Elaine Loni’s office only to find the only court time left is close to her interview. JR advises her that early morning practices always run late and to avoid 8:00 classes. Her next class is in Height Hall and he laughs and encourages her to run if she wants to make it on time.

Simone arrives just in time and takes a seat, though Cam makes fun of her. The Professor wants to expand their minds and discuss the most infamous books. He points out that, by large, only novels with white authors featuring white characters are considered to be classics. Their assignment is to find black stories and conduct a presentation. They will work in groups of three. Damon warns Simone that he’s competitive both in the class and on the field. Thea walks over as the trio is working together. She doesn’t care about either of them, only about getting an A.

The next day, Damon meets Simone, only to learn Thea has canceled. Thea went ahead and chose a book for them and assigned them parts to do. Damon is happy with the situation but Simone isn’t. Nate and Keisha arrive, believing they’ve taught her nothing. Simone was slammed on Yard Yack, a social media app. She turns to Damon for support but he has none, as he’s always dripped out. Keisha and Nate decide to help her.

The trio work at Amara’s house to reglam Simone. Amara comes home and remarks on not missing those days. Nate points out that Simone is a late bloomer. Keisha tells Amara she had to drop her class, but not because of the scandal. She needed more space for pre-med classes. Amara encourages her to pursue her dance dream instead of her father's dream of medicine. Keisha made a promise to her cancer-ridden mom who died that she would pursue medicine. Amara knows her mom wouldn’t hold her to it, but Keisha also doesn’t want to disappoint her father. Simone overhears and tries to get Keisha to help her get a physical sooner. Keisha becomes upset and leaves, with Nate telling Simone to learn to choose her spots.

The next day, Simone returns Kiesha’s stuff and apologizes for being selfish. Keisha admits it’s just a sensitive topic and he’s out of town so he can’t help. She’s struggling with having to give up her choreography dreams, a statement Cam overhears. They begin to flirt until Simone interjects, but they claim their relationship isn’t a “thing”. Keisha invites Simone to do her project with Damon at her dad's house, promising they will get actual schoolwork done.

Simone arrives late to her court time, but the player there isn’t interested in her excuses. The court time is booked solid by Thea, leading to Simone confronting her. Thea claims dedication isn’t an issue for the other players, only Simone. She calls Simone out for not scheduling the time sooner or showing Coach Loni her dedication.

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At Keisha, she and Damon try to focus on their presentation. He praises her for having a job interview. His pitch has been way off lately. JR arrives with the baseball team, as parties are a great place to make an impression. Keisha accepts the party while Simone is not pleased. As the party rages on, Nate is drunk while Simone tries to leave, only to unload her problems on Nate instead. She storms off to find Keisha, while Nate happily realizes the best part of the night is happening outside - Keisha's father is home.

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Simone searches for Keisha but doesn’t find her. She learns the Queen of the Court is tomorrow, but her physical still isn’t done. She begins to have a panic attack when Damon finds her. He assures her that she has him. Zeke is scolding Keisha when Damon bursts in with Simone. They rally around her as Zeke explains that she’s having a panic attack. He tries to calm her breathing.

Once back at Amara’s, Zeke assures Simone she’s okay and to rest. Amara thanks him for bringing her own. He assures her that campus security is looking into the tag on her door and is here for her if she needs him. She has the support she needs and knows he can’t be a good cop and a bad cop. Once he’s gone, Simone apologizes to Amara for worrying her. Amara understands that it takes time to manage everything. One of the benefits of being at HBCU is being able to point at examples of black excellence to see what’s possible.

Simone visits the wall of legends to find Zora Neale Hurston’s excerpt. Damon is also there, looking at a pro baseball pitcher Hank Dawson. He asks how she’s feeling, but she doesn’t know yet. She feels the pressure and he understands. He asks if a field will do instead of a court. They train together and he finally reaches 95 MPH while she gets her hits in. Simone's happy he has his groove back but knows it’s because Damon is having fun. He’s scared of carrying the entire team on his back. He struggles with uniting his team, but she encourages him to share his fears. To be a leader, he should be vulnerable and let others know that Damon Sims has fears. They both see traits in each other from Zora Neale Hurston’s characters. Simone figures out how to close their presentation tomorrow.

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Simone, Damon, and Thea’s presentation goes well and the class claps for her. Damon praises her though Thea snips at her for going off-script. Professor Corte decides to go with Simone’s ideas, and Thea attempts to take credit but he cuts her off. Corte offers Simone a job working with the alumni office.

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After class, Simone gives Loni her clearance note from President Allen, making it in time for Queen of the Court. Simone outmatches everyone on the court and makes it to the last match against Thea. The girls square off with Simone scoring the first point. Their match is live-streamed and Damon proudly watches. The match is even set, but Thea ultimately wins. Thea praises Simone, and they shake hands. She gives props when due. Loni praises Simone for doing well in Queen of the Court and offers her the final spot on the team. Simone is overjoyed and hugs her, though Loni warns her to be ready. Simone then eagerly runs off.

Simone celebrates making the team with her friends and learns she’s being celebrated on Yard Yack. Nate praises her for getting everything she needed. Simone sets the table and confronts Damon for not talking to the team yet, as JR wouldn’t come if Damon did. She encourages him to face his fear and handle his business.[2]

Now part of the tennis team, Simone runs laps on the tack and gets her time under seven minutes. The teammates give her a bag full of merch so she’ll feel and look great on the court. Simon sees Thea across the court by herself. Back at the dorm, Simone notices he’s upset and he tells her about the sponsorship attempts. They either aren’t interested in HBCU sports or don’t want the scandal drama. She’s sure they’ll find something. He points out her new bag which she earned by running a mile under seven minutes. She has to get to the top six and starts to stress so she stops her. He takes her hands and makes her take a deep breath. He tells her to enjoy the moment. He tells her to focus on bonding with her teammates. She calls him out for being a bonding expert after a week.

Simone thanks Nate for letting her stay with her in the dorm. Keisha jokes about undercover arrangements going on. Nate praises her for making the tennis squad, but Simone is worried about Thea. Keisha knows it’s all about jealousy. Keisha is making gift bags for Thea as it’s her birthday soon. A girl, Wilinda, knocks on the door so Kiesha leaves. Simone feels inspired. Later that day, Simone asks the girls if they have something planned for Thea’s birthday and they don’t. Simone sits with Nathaniel and Keisha who aren’t interested in helping. Nate tells her to let it go which Keisha agrees with, though Simone still wants to try.

Simone and Damon talk as they work, and he’s happy with his mom’s supportive attitude. He notices her disbelief but he’s sure Keena is okay with it. Their moms aren’t that different, as she and Tina are at odds because her mom refuses to accept her choices. He gets upset and tells her he wanted to her to listen, not criticize his mom. He packs up his things and leaves.

Simone sets up a surprise party for Thea when Wilinda arrives, hoping to study. Thea arrives having heard about the party. She doesn’t get what Simone is trying to do. Thea has no choice but to show up now that everyone knows, but Simone convinces her to show up so they can celebrate her.

Simone and Thea head to the party together where Thea agrees to feign surprise. When they arrive, the room is empty except for a few male students playing video games, Keisha, and Nate. Thea knew that no one would show at her party and that’s why she didn’t want one. Simone questions Keisha and Nate about not telling her the party was a bust. Wilinda shows up to speak with Keisha and file a formal complaint against Simone and Nate. She knows Simone has been staying there with Nate, who she misgenders as male, and Nate doesn’t have the right to risk everyone’s safety by letting others shack up in their dorms and use up their resources. Simone immediately jumps to defense mode, correcting Wilinda for misgendering Nate. She confronts Melinda about her problem but Nate calls out Simone. Keisha takes Melinda to fill out the paperwork. Simone questions Nate on why she lets Melinda treat her like that, and Nate knows Melinda is trying to stir her up. She knows who she is and if she sat around trying to correct everyone she’d run out of air. Simone calls Melinda a “Karen” and threatens to handle it if Nathaniel won’t. Nathaniel has enough and tells Simone to listen when people tell her their boundaries. If she had listened to Thea she would have spared her the embarrassment of an empty party, then storms out.

That afternoon, Amara and Marcus are interrupted by Simone, so Marcus leaves. Simone asks if they used to date as they had vibes, but Amara tells her to stay out of folks’ business. After bugging her more, Amara admits she and Marcus used to date but they had deep personal differences that couldn’t be put aside. Later, Simone apologizes to Damon for projecting her issues, but he admits she doesn’t have to as she was right. He wanted to see the bets but he can’t force it to be true. She suggests making things right before Keena leaves.

Simone then finds Thea and apologizes as she wanted to celebrate with her friends. Thea doesn’t have any friends as the girls from the team only tolerate her. Her parents paid for the facility and if anyone had a choice they wouldn’t choose to hang out with her. Simone admits she made a mistake by projecting her birthday wishes onto Thea, instead of listening to her wishes. Thea commends her for trying. Simone asks how she wants to celebrate the rest of her day, and Thea just wants food.

At dinner with Amara, the teens talk happily. Simone notices JR looking at Damon and Marcus in an odd way. He has to tell someone and pulls Simone aside, making her promise to keep things between them. She agrees and they talk in private. JR admits to thinking Damon is his biological brother. When he was a toddler he swore his parents had another baby, but one day, the baby was just gone. Everyone acted like it never happened, and he thought he’d made it all up until a few years ago when he found a picture of that baby in a bible his mom gave him. The baby looks a lot like Damon - right down to the scar. Simone is surprised and JR elaborates that both their birth parents to Bringston. Simone admits that Marcus and Amara went to Bringston and were a serious couple until something super personal came between them. JR doesn’t think that’s the case as they both could be jumping to conclusions. Simone counters that one of them could be right. Thea admits to the group she’s always wanted to pole dance, and Keisha has the perfect cap for her birthday. The girls pole dance at a dance studio while Simone watches, looking at the baby photo JR sent.[3]

Personality

Now a college freshman, Simone is eager to face her future and create her path. She is driven, stubborn, witty, and has little patience for foolishness. She often struggles to relax or let her guard down, instead absorbing her problems and then unloading on her friends when she becomes overwhelmed. Simone has very few coping skills and struggles to find a balance in her life. Because of her past experiences, Simone's social skills and understanding of social demands is limited. She finds a close circle of friends and leans on them for support, offering her support in return when they need it.

Appearances

All American

Notes and Trivia

Gallery

References

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