Anticipation grew dribble by dribble as the crowd at the Morgan Middle School grew on Monday, June 3. The group came to see celebrated Utah Jazz player Jeremy Evans.
Just before the famous Forward entered, the crowd settled in anticipation. When a huge 6 foot 9 inch athlete entered the room, the crowd erupted in applause.
Evans towered over hundreds of children clamoring for a spot on the basketball court. While his stature could command their attention, it was his happy inspiring attitude that captivated his audience.
Needing only a minute or two on the microphone to deliver his message, Evans was able to share words of wisdom. His list of things that were important to him and helped him succeed included listening to his mom, staying in church, believing in God and finishing school.
Following these words of wisdom, the kids joined him on the gym floor for games. The entire group stood up hoping to follow his dribbling with claps. This proved harder than it seemed as Evans was able to narrow the competitors quickly. Only two remained at the end, while they tried to find a winner, the evenly matched pair tied over and over again until they decided to call them both the winner.
Evans played several other games including a relay game that included everyone on the floor.
A favorite of the crowd was a shooting drill. The kids on the court lined up to vote if Evans would sink a shot or if he would miss. The majority of the crowd had confidence in the famed basketball player. While Evans didn’t make all of his shots, his happy attitude didn’t waiver. He grinned after missing shots. During this exercise, the athlete proclaimed that he doesn’t usually shoot because he typically prefers to Dunk It! Evans is famed for his game playing dunks but also created Jazz history as the first player from their team to win the NBA slam dunk contest. He went back a second year to place 2nd this past February.
Several times throughout his appearance, there was a quiz on all things Jeremy Evans. The crowd was able to answer many of the questions, but also learned a few facts along the way. The morning ended with an autograph signing. Children and adults waited in line to have a moment to meet the cheery gifted player and have a souvenir of his visit.
Evans joined the Jazz in 2010, coming from Western Kentucky University where he graduated in Art. He encouraged the kids who looked up to him (in many ways) to finish High School and graduate college. Not resting on his celebrated basketball skills, Evans is also scoring points with his art. His pieces are making their way around the athletic circuit, combining two of his passions.
Jeremy Evans appearance was part of the Junior Jazz program; however, the program always encourages the entire community to join.