MARSHFIELD – Evan Nkolai has been a part of the Columbus Catholic varsity basketball team since his freshman year.
Each year his role has increased and he’s now just as capable shooting the ball as he is defending the opposition.
“Evan is incredibly long and athletic and I don’t know that we’ve had a player like him that creates so much havoc on defense with his length,” Dons coach Joe Konieczny said. “He’s worked to make himself an offensive threat to the point that he’s one of our top three options to score.
“His biggest improvement on offense is that he’s developed an outside shot. When he was younger he always went to the rim. Now he can knock down a three or pull up from 10-15 feet out and he’s going to make most of those shots.”
In two games this year, Nikolai is averaging 19.5 points per game and scored 26 during a 101-85 victory over University School last Friday during the Cranberry Classic at Assumption.
He’s also developed into a quiet leader, according to Konieczny, “His leadership style is a quiet intensity and his work ethic is a great example for our younger kids.”
What all went right for your team to score 101 points in a victory over University School last Friday night? Well, we were playing well and shooting very well. As we got closer to 100 points, the crowd was getting louder and louder with each basket we made. I didn’t realize that I got us to 100. I made a layup and the crowd went nuts and when I looked at the scoreboard it was at 100. It was pretty cool and the first time in my four years we’ve scored 100 points.
How exciting was it to win the Cranberry Classic title? It was the first time for my class. My brother won it once so it was cool to win it, too. It was fun to beat a team (Assumption) that we’ve been competing with for years and to do it on their home court.
What is something that people just don’t understand about basketball? That no matter how good one person is, basketball is a team sport. If you don’t work together you won’t get to where you want to be.
You started getting varsity minutes as a freshman. What was it like the first time you got into a game? I was scared. I didn’t want to make a mistake. The juniors and seniors really embraced me and that helped put me at ease.
What is your biggest fear? Not meeting my own expectations.
What are a few things on your bucket list? Skydiving, cliff jumping and swimming with sharks.
Tell us something that people would be surprised to know about you: I have 50 pairs of shoes. I have mostly sneakers, but some dress and casual shoes.
Who would you like to meet from history and what would you want to ask them? Michael Jordan. I’d want to talk to him about the ‘flu game.’
Are you planning on playing basketball in college? It depends on where I go to school. I’ve gotten some interest from Division III schools like Lawrence, La Crosse and Marion. If I don’t play, I’m thinking of Marquette or UW-Milwaukee to study psychology.
School: Columbus Catholic
Sports: Football, cross country, golf, track, basketball
Family: Dad, Rich; mom, Nora; brother, Brandon
Favorite subject: Math
Favorite teacher: Mrs. Volkman (English)
Favorite color: Blue
Favorite food: Lasagna
Favorite TV show: “Friday Night Lights”
Favorite movie: “Coach Carter”
Favorite athlete: LeBron James
iPhone or Android: iPhone
Breakfast, lunch or dinner: Breakfast
Spring, summer, fall or winter: Summer
Pulp or no pulp in your orange juice: Pulp