First-year coach builds middle school basketball program

Published 4:41 am Wednesday, November 30, 2022

EDGARD — Courtney Evans looks forward to building a powerhouse basketball program on the West Bank of St. John Parish. While also serving as an assistant at the high school level, he is the first-year coach of fifth through eighth graders in the Rams middle school basketball program, and the young team has already impressed him with their hustle and heart.

The first middle school game of the season against Garyville had a big turnout and was followed by at 29-27 win against tough opponent East St. John Prep. This week, the Rams take on John L. Ory at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday evening in the WSJE gym.

“This is my first year with the program. As far as expectations, the goal is to not only develop the young men to where they can continuously compete, but also get the community involved,” Evans said. “I’m big on grades as well. That’s why it’s called student athlete. We want to develop the young men year-to-year so when they get to high school, they can continue to be able to compete in the hopes of winning the championship.”

Evans believes that if you get the skills to do a job, you will be successful at it. At the middle school level, he is focused on instilling fundamentals of the game including ball handling, proper jump shooting and rebounds. It helps that the kids have a no-quit attitude and are always eager to learn.

J’Kyren Morris has been a versatile leader on the court in both facilitating and scoring. De’Avonni Bartholomew is a key rebounder, while De’Avona Davis puts pressure on the defense and executes well. Another key player Evans is relying on early this season is Jajuan Jackson, a player who has shown he’s a forced to be reckoned with through AAU.