Connecticut guard R.J. Evans, left, displays the trophy after beating Michigan State in their NCAA men's basketball game on Saturday, Nov. 10, 2012, on the Ramstein U.S. Air Force Base, in Ramstein, Germany. At right is Connecticut head coach Kevin Ollie. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)
Last season, RJ Evans came off the bench to provide leadership, experience and stability to the Huskies' young backcourt. Evans arrived in Storrs as a graduate student after a successful career at Holy Cross, where he scored more than 1,200 points. Now with his UConn diploma in hand, Evans is off to work -- in England.
But this isn't your typical tale of college graduate heading off to Europe to begin the next phase of their adult life, this is a case where Evans, a backup with the Huskies, wanting to prolong his basketball career. So he sent out some feelers and a former Holy Cross teammates hooked him up with the Durham Wildcats of the British Basketball League, who were looking for a big shooting guard who could also play defense. Enter the 6-3, 240-pound Evans.
Evans is obviously excited about the opportunity, but concedes that he'll miss being so far away from home.
“I’m a momma’s boy, I stayed close,” Evans told the Norwich Bulletin's Marc Allard, before adding: “It’s been a dream of mine to play professional basketball and I’m happy it panned out.”
According to Allard, Durham, in it's third year in the BBL, is a team in transition. The team has a new coach, Lee Davis, after winning just 13 games the last two years.
“It’s an adventure,” Evans said. “I’m going to be living on my own, in another country, and I can’t come home when I feel like it, but I will survive.”