She shares her name with a famous early 20th century college basketball coach, but Dana Evans hopes to have a much more significant impact on the collegiate game herself. She certainly got a strong endorsement of her ability to do so Monday, when the Indiana native was officially presented with her McDonald’s All American jersey as part of the McDonald’s Hometown Heroes tour presented by American Family Insurance.
Evans, a 5-foot-6 five-star point guard who signed with Louisville, could be a difference maker for the Cardinals from day one as Jeff Walz continues to point the Cardinals toward a potential Final Four appearance. While Evans was drawn to the Cardinals both because of their potential and her chemistry with the team, for now she’s focused on improving her skills while embracing the monumental accomplishment of becoming a McDonald’s All American.
“It feels really good. This has always been a dream for me, and it’s a dream come true now. I’m really excited.
“I was in the fifth grade when I first saw the game and I’ve been praying to be a McDonald’s All American ever since. My freshman year when ESPN ranked me as the top point guard, I realized I had a shot. I’m really looking forward to getting back with the girls I played with on the USA team this summer. Meeting back up with them and enjoying the experience will be great.”
Evans’ aforementioned self-sparked skills improvement will focus on developing more strength, a counter move and finishing at the rim. And while the intensity with which she approaches her game is notable on the court, she insists that she’s really just a friendly kid off it.
That’s part of what has made her such a strong role model in her hometown, an industrial inner-city which was once the byword for suburban blight and growing inequality along the outer rim of America’s largest cities.
“I think I’m setting a really good example coming from a small inner-city like Gary,” Evans said. “People don’t see all the talent in a place like Gary. I just want to be a role model to the kids in this small city.”