Jul 20, 2014
Being selected to the N.C. Coaches Association East-West All-Star Game is a huge individual honor for any student-athlete.
Apex High School guard T.J. Evans is one of ten players who will represent the East in Monday night's East-West All-Star boys basketball game. After the three-time conference player of the year won the N.C. High School Athletic Association 4-A state championship this past season, you might think the all-star game is just another accomplishment.
But that's not how Evans sees it.
"It means a lot. I'm excited because it really is a big honor. I get to represent my school one last time, so it feels great," Evans said.
Representing Apex is what Evans is looking forward to the most this week. It's another individual honor for Evans, and he doesn't take them – or the help he had from others in his career – for granted.
"[Honors] mean a lot. It's a blessing. I know I'm blessed as a player. I couldn't have gotten any of this without my teammates though," he said. "Individual success doesn't override team success."
Evans has been a 20-point-per-game scorer since he moved up to varsity his sophomore year at Apex. He became the first player in Tri-9 Conference (later the Southwest Wake Athletic Conference) history to earn player of the year honors three times, and he was the Most Outstanding Player in the state championship game.
"You can't win the game 1-on-5, it's always 5-on-5, and those other four helped me tremendously on everything ... I've been down, but I've been up too, sometimes I have been too up ... and they helped me bring it down," said Evans. "Individual success means a lot, but it's not as important to me as team success because, like I said, you can't win a game 1-on-5. I want to thank my teammate personally."
Evans is looking forward to playing with his new teammates this week too.
"I just want to play, have fun, and get a chance to be around some of the best players in the state," he said. "I'm not really going in expecting anything or expecting more recognition. I just want to go out there, have fun, and represent Apex."
Monday night will finally close the book on Evans' Apex career, and when he looks back on it, he is very proud.
"It's everything I ever wanted. I'm so proud of our team. I'm proud of my coach. He's the best coach I could ever ask for and he deserves it," he said. "I think about [winning the state championship] all the time because because it is everything I ever wanted. I dreamed about that when I first walked on Apex's campus and it finally happened."
Evans will play basketball this fall at Cape Fear Community College.
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