MONTVERDE, Fla. (BVM) — Kwame Evans Jr. has been one of the most sought-after recruits in the 2023 recruiting class for quite some time. The 6-foot-9, 200-pound forward is the No. 11 player in the country according to 247 Sports.
But before Evans Jr. became the star of one the country’s best prep schools, Montverde Academy, he was just a kid looking for his way.
Growing up, he was always tall and athletic, so when his uncle got him into basketball, it was a natural fit.
“He took me to the gym one day and after that, I fell in love with it,” Evans Jr. said. “I started playing it every day. It really just started from there.”
Not only would he play, but he would watch a lot of basketball as well. He had become fully enamored with every facet of the game. So much so that when his dad asked him when he was in eighth grade what he wanted to do with his life, Kwame already had a good idea.
That question allowed him to realize that he wanted to go all in on the sport and to see how far it could take him.
“From there, it gave me the opportunity to play and fall in love with the game,” Evans Jr. said. “Playing it, and playing it at a high level, is what really got me into it.”
He has done that since and as a junior last season, he helped lead the Eagles to a national championship. Despite a lengthy personal resume, this was one of the proudest moments in his career thus far.
“Winning games is a lot more important than individual awards,” Evans Jr. said. “When you’re winning games, everyone gets the credit. It’s better when everyone gets the credit besides just you.”
As a recruit, he has been coveted by nearly every college basketball program in the country. For a high schooler, the recruiting process can be very stressful trying to decide their future. While Evans Jr. experienced some of that, he is just grateful to be in the situation that he is in.
“I enjoyed every part of it,” Evans Jr. said. “Not everyone gets to enjoy it, but I’m one of the fortunate ones.”
At the end of the day, he decided that Oregon was the school for him, announcing his commitment on Aug. 2 and signing on Nov. 9.
— Oregon Men's Basketball (@OregonMBB) November 9, 2022
“It was everything that I liked and believed in,” Evans Jr. said of Oregon. “The environment up there, the coaching staff and the people there. The atmosphere up there is really cool.”
But in the meantime, Evans Jr. is still a high school senior. But unlike the typical high school senior, he has many eyes on him. But he sees this as an opportunity to show his maturity level, and that he’s mentally ready for as far as basketball can take him.
“You have to be professional in everything you do,” Evans Jr. said. “If you’re professional, then people can look at you and be like, ‘Oh yeah, he understands what he’s going through and what responsibilities he has to do.”
This maturity also carries over to his work ethic. But similar to the mindset of every great athlete, Evans Jr. is not satisfied.
“It’s good right now, but it needs to become great,” Evans Jr. said. “It needs to get better for where I want to go.”
Before he heads to Eugene, he has some goals to finish out his prep career such as being a McDonald’s All-American, attending the Jordan Brand Classic and winning the Naismith Player of the Year Award. But his No. 1 goal is to bring another championship to Montverde.