The month of March is Women’s History Month. It is designed to highlight the contributions of women and encourage the study, observance and celebration of their role in American history. I would be remised if I didn’t recognize one such individual. Kia Sidbury is a divorced mother of three daughters living in Baltimore, Maryland. That is a lot to handle on its own. However, she makes time to be one of the best female pool players in the Women’s Professional Billiards Association (WPBA). Here is an interview with her.
Stenson: When did you start playing pool?
Sidbury: Actually, I started 10 years ago. Even though I started 10 years ago, my aunt and uncle had a Brunswick in their basement. I know we messed around on it, as far as me and my cousins. But I really didn’t do much with it at the time. I was going to the local mall here and decided to go to the new wing that they took over where an old JC Penny was. It was a Korean Mall inside the mall, so I decided to go in and take a look around. I noticed they had an upstairs, so I went up and said ‘Oh Wow, they have a pool room.’ It was the first time I’ve seen a pool table since my aunt and uncle had one in the basement. So I went in there and just started messing around. It was something to do outside of work and church and family. I was divorced and I raised my three daughters so it started to be a recreational thing for me, something to do.
Stenson: What is your specialty? Is it eight ball, nine ball, or trick shots?
Sidbury: I haven’t delve into trick shots yet, but I’ve pretty much played all the games. I’ve played eight ball, nine ball, ten ball. They have a game called one pocket that I like to play. Three cushions billiards that is the table with no pockets. That game gives me the most excitement because you are shooting your cue ball into another ball going at least three rails with your cue ball, to hit the last ball on the table to create a point. That is the one that excites me out of all the other games. I’m learning how to play straight pool. Competition wise I mostly play nine ball. I do really like nine ball. When I’m on my own or training or sparring with someone I prefer straight pool. Just for the fun of it and learning how to move that cue ball around the table and just to get a lot of excitement out of it, I will play three cushions billiards. The game goes up to whatever the race is. After I learned the basics of the game, I played in a league that went up to 20 point, I believe. It also depends on your handicap verse your opponent. The yellow and white are the cue balls.
Stenson: Are there any other black or African American women playing billiards?
Sidbury: There is Kim Jones. She is a strong player. I met her before she moved out to the west coast. When I started playing on the regional level, I met her and she still is a strong player. I don’t get to see her but in my regional area there are some sisters that play. You got Elaine Wilson out of Delaware and Nicole King, I think she is out of Virginia. You have Vanessa Hood; I think she lives in Chicago. She is now ranked on the WPBA as well. There are more and more African American ladies stepping up and getting more competitive and want to improve their game and take it to the next level. I think that’s awesome. My oldest daughter use to play in the leagues shortly after I started playing. They recruited me because they loved having the lower skilled players because it balances out the numbers with the handicaps. My daughter eventually joined the APA league with me but now she’s in love and has a family. That’s her priority. I love her. But I have a table in my place so anytime my family comes over we play. She still has the skills and her form is great. She just naturally has it.
What sports did she play in high school? What famous athletes are in her family? What competitions has she been played in? What is ten ball? Where did she get the nickname Primetime? Where is she ranked nationally? Go to DNASportsTalk.com under “Showtime” and click on March 26, 2018 to hear the entire interview. Thank you again to Kia Sidbury for sharing her life story and adding her name to the list of women that have accomplished so much.