A local high school student puts lots of hours in at the gym, even after just returning from his first trip overseas with the USA wheelchair basketball under 30’s team. Fox 25-48’s Abigail Hantke has more about Mondovi senior Collin Evans’ journey.
Ten years ago, Collin Evans was in a car accident that changed his life, but also led him to new beginnings, like wheelchair basketball. He’s a national champion, MVP and at 17 the youngest player on team USA’s wheelchair basketball roster.
Collin Evans: “Just, always get better, shoot to be like one of the best in the world someday. So that’s what drives me.”
Evans recently returned from his first tournament overseas to Japan, representing the United States against Korea, Japan, and Great Britain.
Evans: It was definitely like an eye opener, how overseas they play, because that is definitely something I want to do in the future. It just gives me stuff I got to use to.”
The team placed fourth in the tournament. Evans says he still has a lot of work to do before January try-outs for the 2020 USA Paralympics team. He says practice is a big part of playing the game and each week he travels almost two hours, twice a week to practice with his team. He says his biggest strength is shooting, from any point on the court. But he would also like to work on his strength.
Evans: “Getting stronger, because you can never be too strong in this game.”
Part of the reason he joined a weightlifting class this semester.
Phy. Ed. Teacher Paul Bielmeier: “He’s been a great addition to our class. I’m glad he signed up for it this year. It’s been awesome for him to share his experience and journey with the class.”
As a high school student, Evans says his teachers are extremely helpful when it comes to transitioning between school and travel.
Evans: “The teachers are flexible and help me get my work and that makes it a lot easier.”
When he’s not practicing to be the next all-star, he’s shooting around with friends or just hanging out.
Caleb Lee: “Oh he’s better than I am. We’re pretty close. There’s nothing that we don’t keep from each other.”
Evans is practicing for try-outs for the 2020 Paralympics in Tokyo. Try-outs begin in January in Colorado Springs.