May 25 2020
New kid on the NBA block
24 March 2012

Jeremy Evans who? It would have been the question on everyone’s mind before the All Star weekend.

But the night of February 25 changed it all for the Utah Jazz player. The 6 feet 9 inch tall forward soared over his teammate Gordon Hayward to dunk two balls at once to win the All Star Slam Dunk contest, getting 29% of the total votes. Since then, people have started recognising him. “The fan following has increased since that night. People do recognise me while walking on the streets,” Evans tells DNA.

Evans, who is in his third year with the Jazz, was a last-minute replacement for New Knicks’ Iman Shumpert in the competition. “They told me three days before that I’m definitely in. With back-to-back games, I just had a couple of practice sessions to prepare for the completion before I headed to Orlando (where the All Star weekend was held),” Evans says of the time he had to practice.

And the winning jump? “I practised it for maybe 10-12 times. Luckily for me, I nailed it.”

Now that he has come into limelight, Evans wants to keep the momentum going in his favour and establish himself in Jazz’s starting line-up. “I just have to keep working hard. I know that day will come soon,” he says.“Because of the lockout, the season is pretty tight, so having a strong bench is important, especially this season. I’ve no problem coming off the bench to prove my qualities. The aim is to help the team win.”

As far as Jazz are concerned, they are on a roll, winning five of their last six matches, which includes wins over the mighty Los Angeles Lakers and the Oklahoma City Thunder. They currently sit in ninth position in the Western Conference, just one spot away from the playoffs. “We never give up. Our wins (over Lakers and Thunder) show if you play hard, it doesn’t matter who it is or which team it is.

Every team has a chance of winning. The way the team is playing, they will definitely make it to the playoffs,” he says.
And yes, Evans dreams to be in the same league as the former winners of Slam Dunk contest in future, which includes the like of Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Dwight Howard among others.



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