Jul 21, 2013
Jared Hendryx of Jordan and Logan Evans of Wakefield are used to being competitors on the basketball court. Now, they have to work on being teammates.
Hendryx and Evans will both suit up for the East All-Star team Monday night in Greensboro. Afterwards, they will begin preparing to leave home for Queens University in Charlotte as members of the same recruiting class.
"We played high school together and I've known him for a while," Evans said of Hendryx. "It's a lot better to be on his team than it is to be playing against him."
The two players have gotten closer in recent months. They went on their visit to Queens together and committed on back-to-back days. They have played together at various camps, and they are roommates in Greensboro during All-Star week.
"Our chemistry just seems to click," Hendryx said. "Every time we play together, there's been nothing but good things happening."
Hendryx and Evans achieved a good deal of success in their respective high school careers. Hendryx, a 6-foot-8 forward, was last season's Pac-6 Conference Player of the Year. He averaged 16 points and 10 rebounds per game during his senior season.
Evans is a 6-foot-7 forward and an All-Conference player in the challenging Cap-8 4A Conference. He started every game for Wakefield over the last two years.
Jordan went 23-5 overall last season with an undefeated Pac-6 record. They lost to Hillside in the third round of the state playoffs. Wakefield went 13-13 on the year and 7-6 in the Cap-8. They also lost to Hillside in the playoffs.
The two are used to seeing each other as members of opposing teams. Last season, Wakefield defeated Jordan 66-56. Two years ago, Wakefield won two meetings against the Durham school. Still, the players are quick to acknowledge each other's abilities.
"He does a lot of things well and he does a lot of things that can't be taught," Evans said. "Playing with him now and knowing that we're going in together is real exciting."
A big opportunity for the two to develop chemistry on the basketball court will come during the East-West All-Star game. All players from around the state have already come to Greensboro to take part in practices leading up to the game.
"It's a great event in a great gym, and it's a great experience to compete against the 20 best guys in North Carolina," Evans said.
While the event is a good way to recognize the state's best players of the past year, it is also a chance to learn from teammates and work on skills.
"They go hard at all times," Hendryx said of the competition during All-Star practices. "When you're at home and you're the man in your area, you can get away with some things. But everyone up here is the man somewhere."
The All-Star practices come at a valuable time for Evans and Hendryx as they attempt to develop their talents for the college level. They are both doing all they can to prepare, including spending significant time in the weight room to bulk up and become more physical.
Both players hope they can make an instant impact for the Queens University Royals, competing for immediate playing time.
"I think I can be a great defensive player," Hendryx said. "Offensively, that will come too. I'm working a lot on my face-up game lately."
The Royals compete in the Division 2 South Atlantic Conference against other area schools including Catawba College, Tusculum College, Wingate University, Lenoir-Rhyne University and others.
Evans and Hendryx will be joined at Queens with another local player. Green Hope point guard Grant Rasmussen will also play for the Royals next season.
"I think we have a chance to win the conference," Evans said. "That's going to be my goal for the next four years. I'd love to make a run at a couple D2 National Championships, too."
Hendryx is just as optimistic about his future team.
"We're really strong," he said. "We have some seniors that are great. The whole team is really great from what I've seen. With us coming in, we can do nothing but help the program even more."
The future is bright for Evans, Hendryx and the rest of the athletes competing in All-Star week festivities. But for now, they are focused on getting better, developing chemistry on the court and representing the eastern half of North Carolina.
"You learn a lot from seeing other guys practice and seeing how they play," Evans said. "Being around guys better than you will always make you a better player."
All-Star basketball begins at 6:30 p.m. Monday at Greensboro Coliseum. The girls play first, followed by the boys' game at approximately 8:30 p.m.
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