Tuesday, December 7, 2010
Welcome Home: Greenville native Evans enjoying MDCC after one year at Co-Lin
PHOTO CUTLINE: Greenville native Anthony Evans (center) is joined on the Mississippi Delta Community College team by former area players Cadarrius Nelson (left) who played at O’Bannon High and Danny Bolden (far right) who played at Greenville-Weston High.
MOORHEAD — Like most 18-year-olds, Anthony Evans wanted to venture off after graduating from high school. The former Greenville-Weston basketball standout was recruited by nearby Mississippi Delta Community College, but the idea of signing with Copiah-Lincoln Community College, a "basketball school" three hours away from the confines of home, were too tempting.
But after a year at the school in Wesson, Evans is back in the Delta, playing an integral role for the MDCC Trojans (4-2).
And he's as happy as ever.
"I feel more comfortable here. And I like the system here," said Evans, who scored 10 points in last night's overtime loss to Coahoma Community College.
"I struggled at (Co-Lin), sometimes homesick," said Evans. "I tried to maintain, but I just didn't feel too comfortable there."
Evans doesn't seem to be having that problem now that he's back in the Delta. He's been the spark off the bench for the Trojans, scoring in double-digits in all but one game. He put up 11 points in his Trojan debut against Hinds and had a season-high 20 in a loss to Pearl River. Evans is one of six Trojans averaging double figures this season, putting up 10.6 points per game.
MDCC coach Derrick Fears said just because Evans, who plays both point guard and shooting guard, isn't a starter doesn't mean he's not a top talent.
"He kind of catches people off guard a lot because they don't realize that he can play," said Fears. "By the time they can realize that he can play, he's warmed up and hit two or three shots. He's did that before and took us into another gear."
Fears said Co-Lin, who the Trojans defeated earlier in the season, has been known to have one of the best basketball teams in the state. "That image kind of wins kids over," he said. "We haven't been a basketball school. But since I've been here, we've kind of turned that around."
And Evans isn't alone at the Moorhead campus; he's surrounded by two former teammates, Danny Bolden and DeMario Calvin, and O'Bannon High product Cadarrius Nelson. Another former teammate of Evans at GWHS, Glenn Ford, also transferred from Co-Lin to MDCC, but isn't playing basketball this season.
Being surrounded by the people he grew up around — and the fact that his parents only have to make a 30-minute trip to watch his games, makes life a lot easier, said Evans.
"(My parents) enjoy it. They get to watch me play, because it's not too far from home," said Evans.
Not only does coach Fears have a new special player, but the school's newly-renovated gym opened up for the first time Monday night to a packed house, during a game against Coahoma. The Trojans lost in overtime, while the Lady Trojans (1-5) defeated Coahoma in OT in their first win of the season.
Before the renovation, the gym was gold and blue — but the school's colors are red and black. Now the newly renovated black and red coliseum gives the games a new atmosphere.
"It makes you feel like you're in a college setting," said Fears. "And it's going to help me recruit too."