As a utility player for the University of Iowa his freshman season, Hickman made 36 appearances and batted .220, 2 doubles, 6 RBI, and posted a .355 OB%. Blake was selected in the 20th round by the Chicago Cubs in the 2012 Major League Baseball Draft. He was ranked as the fifth best player in Illinois coming out of high school. In 2012, Hickman led Simeon to City, Regional, and Sectional Championship as a senior. He was a 4A All-State Selection and member of the CPS City runner-up team in 2011.