Jawun Evans Goes International
When Jawun Evans (Kimball H.S./Dallas, Texas) takes the floor for the USA in the 2015 FIBA U19 World Championship in Crete, Greece, he will be surrounded by seven gold-medalist for teammates.
The 6-foot guard from Dallas, Texas, is the only USA player who has recently completed a year of high school without international experience.
Teammates Terrance Ferguson (Homeschooled/Dallas, Texas), Harry Giles (Wesleyan Christian Academy/Winston-Salem, N.C.), Josh Jackson (Prolific Prep, Calif./Southfield, Mich.) and Jayson Tatum (Chaminade College Prep/St. Louis, Mo.), none of whom yet have college experience, were members of the gold-medal winning 2013 FIBA Americas U16 National team and the 2014 FIBA U17 World Championship team.
Three additional U19 team members helped the U.S. to gold at the 2014 FIBA Americas U18 Championship, including Jalen Brunson (Stevenson H.S./Lincolnshire, Ill.), Caleb Swanigan (Homestead H.S./Fort Wayne, Ind.) and Allonzo Trier (Findlay Prep, Nev./Seattle, Wash.).
The remaining members of the USA U19 team are rising college sophomores, including Justin Bibbs (Virginia Tech/Dayton, Ohio), Chinanu Onauku (Louisville/Lanham, Md.), L.J. Peak (Georgetown/Gaffney, S.C.) and Thomas Welsh (UCLA/Redondo Beach, Calif.).
His lack of international playing experience is why Evans agreed to participate in the 2015 USA Basketball U19 team training camp.
“I thought it would be a big learning deal for me,” said Evans. “It would get me better as a person and a player.
“It is a great experience being around the top high school players in the country and some of the college players that I have watched on TV. It is a great thing.”
During training camp, Evans said he has focused on being himself, regardless of who else was in the gym.
“I am hungry to get better and humbled because that is who I am. I don’t really talk much.
“It was that hunger that bought me to training camp. Throughout all my seasons of working hard in high school and AAU, that is what has gotten me to where I am now.”
As a prep
Though Evans says he is not an extrovert off the court, he does try to be a source of excitement and energy on the court.
“I don’t talk much, but I have a defensive energy,” Evans explained. “I am a different person on the court.
“I have the ability to play defense, get my teammates involved and score. I think my role will be to get the team energized on defense and pushing the ball up the floor.”
In addition to winning, Evans is looking forward to exploring a different country, something he has never done before.
“I don’t know what to expect. I have just been thinking about what I have seen in movies.”
The USA will travel to Crete, Greece and train for five days before beginning play in the 2015 FIBA U19 World Championship on June 27 versus Iran.
When the gold medal game is completed on July 5, Evans and his 11 USA teammates hope to be standing atop the medal podium, sporting a shiny gold medal.