SETON HALL LANDS STATES BIGGEST FISH

AKIMIASETON

From the day Kimi Evans entered the Shore Conference, much has been expected of her. It was clear from day one, she would one day be the most dominate player in the conference. But getting to this point has not been a cake walk. From the day she decided to attend ST. JOHN VIANNEY  to the day she decided to give SETON HALL A VERBAL COMMITMENT last week….Kimi Evans has had to do everything in the spotlight.

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KIMI WITH BIG SISTER CHRISTINA

When Kimi Evans was an 8th grader, she made a tough decision. As it turns out, it was the right decision. It was assumed by many the Kimi Evans would attend Jackson Memorial High School. The same school her sister and former Rutgers University center Christa Evans attended. Rachel Goodale was as close to the Evans family as any coach could be to a family. Her relationship with Coach Goodale went way beyond basketball. But Kimi Evans knew that in order to be the best, she needed to play with and against the best. So with a heavy heart, she decided to attend SJV and with that two things happened. SJV would go on to make history and Kimi Evans would become the most dominant player not only in the shore but maybe in the state of New Jersey.

ACAMPa teammates

By now everyone knows the story. SJV would its first Shore Conference title in 10 years, they would win the TOC and finally finished the #4 team in the country. It was a dream season for SJV seniors and program, but if not for one Kimi Evans none of this may have happened. No one player was more important to the success of their team as Kimi Evans. No one player has had more eyes and expectations on her as Kimi Evans has had; since entering SJV. It was Kimi Evans, who drew all the attention from opponents, which allowed her teammates to shine. It was Kimi Evans that all opponents had to deal with first, before worrying about all the other weapons SJV would bring to the table. When Kelly Campbell and Kelly Crouch both went down with injuries, SJV never missed a beat, because KIMI EVANS TOOK OVER AND CARRIED SJV…She averaged 17 points and close to 12 rebounds a game in the all-important tournament in Florida, where the best high school teams in the country gathered. She did this, while being doubled and tripled teamed with an inexperienced back-court. It was at this tournament we all found out the Kimi Evans was in a class of her own. If not for a one point lost, SJV may have won a national title. But more importantly without Evans, SJV season could have been a disappointment before it ever got started.

AFACEAHUMBLE

Like all great post players in high school, sometimes they are forgotten by their teammates. In the SCT semi final this year, SJV forgot where their butter was breaded. It almost cost them their dream season. But what most forget about the night is that Kimi Evans carried her team to that big lead, that almost got away. They also forget that Evans never gave up on her teammates that night or stop playing. This is a sign of maturity and being a true teammate….It’s what separates Miss. Evans from most  superstars. She is like the entire Evans family, they don’t play for attention and awards. They don’t play politics, they don’t self-promote,  they feel there is room for everyone to shine. It part of the reason the Evans Family has been successful not just on the court but off the court. It’s why Glenn Evans calls me when I run an event to ask “do I need Kimi at the event”. Not because a Top 50 player needs exposure, but rather because he knows if his daughter at any event it draws attention to that event. It’s Kimi Evans coming to NBS and not just showing up and playing, but EMBRACING KIDS…MAKING THEM FEEL SPECIAL.  This is why the Evans are not like any family in the Shore we have ever seen….HUMBLE, GIVING PEOPLE. It’s why everyone loves the Evans family, teammates, opponents, coaches and fans. They make it so much more than about them. They make us feel good about ourselves…

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A FAMILY THAT GETS IT

I had a tough decision to make this year. I had to choose a Shore Conference Player of the Year. I mean the decision was easy as to who the most valuable player in the Shore Conference was last year. Remove Kimi Evans from SJV and place on her on any other Shore Top 5 team and they would have become the favorite to win the Shore Conference Tournament. No other player could make this claim. But I always feel seniors deserve the benefit of the doubt, so giving a junior the 2016 HOOP GROUP PLAYER OF THE YEAR was not easy. I felt I could get away with short changing  Kimi Evans… because in my mind I knew she could care less. I was glad I did not take advantage of Kimi Evans goodness and kindness. I am glad that I respected that being kind and giving is not an invitation to let others walk over you…and I felt if I took that award away from Kimi Evans I would be doing just that. That’s why she was the PLAYER OF THE YEAR…. Because she earned it and I’m glad I did the right thing by Kimi Evans.

ATONY

THERE TIED AT THE HIP…COACH BOZZELLA AND HIS PRIZE RECRUIT

Last week around 11.30 while on her visit to Seton Hall, I found out that Kimi Evans had committed to Seton Hall. It was another tough decision Kimi Evans had to make. It was once again time to hurt a lot of people she liked and cared about. I remember once, when everyone left the gym, Kimi, her mom, Danni and me sat and talked after NBS for an hour. We laughed, told stories and talked about recruiting. It amazed me that she seemed not to feel any pressure, regarding recruiting, basketball or anything else for that matter. Her parents seemed not to care that she was the apple of coaches’ eyes. It was like this entire recruiting thing was no big thing. It seems in the Evans family nobody is considered special just because they happen to be a mega talented baller. There are other things more important to this family…..LIKE FAMILY!

ATINY

Molly Lynch took this picture of us ..not bad!

The day after her verbal, Kimi Evans and her mom stopped by the Hoop Group. I asked her if she cried. She said “NO” I asked her mother if she cried. She said “NO”. I asked if her dad Glenn cried. She said “NO”. I asked if anyone cried. They both said “NO”. It was then it dawned on me, the Evans are just a down to earth family. They are not about hype and are not full of themselves. So what did we talk about? Volleyball, Kimi plays on the Shore Conference defending SCT Champs. That’s right Evans won a SCT in volleyball before she won one in Basketball. Her mother, then reminded me that she didn’t pay for Academic Elite. I said don’t worry about it. But she insisted on paying, but I explained it’s was our oversight, but she would not take “NO” for an answer. By the way the week before Academic Elite Glenn Evans sent me an Email to say Kimi “cannot make Academic Elite”. I thought it was funny because Kimi needs Academic Elite, like a bad cold. But it just Glenn Evans being who he is; he knows what Kimi Evans would do for the event. Its funny this spring me and Glenn and sat in a corner and watched a basketball game together. I do my best to stay away from parents at games. But with Glenn it’s different, we talk about everything…basketball, sports, education, life and family. It’s nice to know that there are people who still get.

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Two new teammates from the shore!

Tony Bozzella is turning Seton Hall into a NATIONAL powerhouse. This week he did what all Top 25 programs must do…get the best player in their backyard to stay home. Tony Bozzella and his staff have made it clear, he wants to lock down the shore. He now has 3 shore players on his roster.  The best senior in New Jersey is staying home and Seton Hall has officially SENT A MESSAGE….stay out of our backyard….….. congrats to Dawn Karpell and the SJV family along with the Philly Belle family …..Seton Hall is getting the entire package, great family, great kid and an amazing talent in KIMI EVANS

asjv THE SJV FAMILY!

 

*It takes me about 2-3 hours to write a blog most times…today it took me 40 mins!

 

UPDATE.MUST EVENT EVENT NEXT WEEK

POINT GUARD SCHOOL STARTS NEXT WEEK….FOLKS I STRONGLY URGE YOU  TO GET  ATTEND…SIGN UP HERE.. http://hoopgroup.com/hoop-group-headquarters/new-jersey-summer-basketball-camps/basketball-101-camp/

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