Jeremy Evans discusses his NBA Draft experience

25 06 2010

Just got off the phone with former Western Kentucky forward Jeremy Evans, who was selected with the 55th pick of the 2010 NBA Draft by the Utah Jazz on Thursday.

Evans, who was obviously excited by the selection, had some initial trouble during his first moments as an NBA player due to the fact that he received 88 phone messages just minutes following the announcement – which in turn gave him some issues with getting in touch with both his agent Mike Naiditch and the Jazz organization.

But the smoke cleared, Evans got in touch with the folks he needed – and now, he couldn’t be happier. 

“It was just unbelievable, I’m still speechless and still at a loss for words right now – it’s just crazy,” Evans said from his family home in Crossett, Ark. “I thought I had a chance, but I didn’t know what to expect – you watch all those picks go by and then I started wondering whether or not it was going to happen.

“But then, it happened.”

Evans will get to work almost immediately, as he’ll be on a flight for Utah on Friday to begin further plans for the summer – which should likely consist of a summer league run with the Jazz. 

WKU’s all-time leading shot blocker, Evans told the Daily News earlier this month that he had been working on changing positions – from his natural power forward/center position in college to the small forward spot. He had been working with famed athletic trainer Tim Grover in Chicago, and had gained nearly eight pounds of muscle to a rather lean frame. Listed at 6-9, 196 pounds as a senior at WKU – the biggest knock on Evans was his overall weight and bulk. But, apparently, his length and athleticism was enough for Utah to take a shot at No. 55. 

“We didn’t know what was going to happen, but I had faith,” Evans said. “It was great to be able to be here with my family for it, they’ve supported me this whole time and even if I didn’t get picked they would still be here to support me and wish me the best.”

WKU’s other draft hopeful on Thursday, former standout guard A.J. Slaughter, did not hear his name called during the draft – but could possibly find his way onto a summer league squad as a rookie free agent. 

As for Evans, while he’ll head off to Utah to begin his quest to the NBA immediately, he joked that he might have to take some time to answer a few of those phone calls he couldn’t get to right away on Thursday.

“You don’t ever want to turn down phone calls, but man, I couldn’t get them all at once,” Evans laughed. “I might still be calling people back from now until Sunday – it might still be ringing.

“But right now I’ve just got to prove to people that I can play in the league – no matter how big I am or my size, whatever they may say, I want to prove I can do it.”

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