Men's basketball: BSU's Evans all business on court, in life
Arron Evans is a young man of many titles -- student, basketball player, producer and father.
The 24-year-old senior on the Bemidji State men's basketball team has come up with big shots on the court this season and one day he hopes to call shots in a company board room.
"Arron is an extremely competitive person," Bemidji State head coach Matt Bowen said. "He has an ability to shoot the ball and he hates to lose. He's been a positive influence in this rebuilding process."
Entering this weekend's two-game home stand against Northern State and University of Mary, Evans averages the most minutes per game (28.7) and points per game (10.3) on the team this season. He ranks second in three-point percentage (39.1).
With a quick step and an accurate shot, Evans has emerged as a go-to player in the Beavers offense this season.
"I'm not the type of guy to want the ball, but when the game is on the line I've gotta have it," Evans said. "I like it when the pressure is on."
Earlier this season, Evans stunned Wayne State on a two-point jumper with 13 seconds remaining in the game, lifting the Beavers to a 68-67 victory.
"He pulled a rabbit out of the hat against Wayne State," said Bowen, who also talked about Evans' work ethic shooting extra shots during practice. "In those types of situations you have to go to your seniors and I have the confidence that he can make a play down the stretch."
On Saturday night against Minnesota-Crookston, his clutch layup with 52 seconds remaining in the first overtime tied the game at 60 and forced double overtime where the Beavers would win, 68-67. Evans finished with a team-high 16 points, two 3-pointers and nine rebounds in the victory that improved the Beavers to 5-9 overall this season, 2-3 in the NSIC.
It is a marked improvement for the Beavers, which won just five games last season. Evans credited Bowen with the team's turnaround.
"I feel we have a good coaching strategy and coach is motivating us by using young players and getting a good supporting cast for us," Evans said. "You're always motivated because there's always someone behind you who wants to take your spot and is breathing down your neck."
Evans joined Bemidji State in 2006 as a transfer student from Clinton (Iowa) Community College.
He was recruited by former Bemidji State head coach Patrick Smith, who coached the Beavers from 2004-2006.
"You really have to give the kid a lot of credit for sticking around," said Bowen, who is in his second season as the Beavers' head coach. "When Smith left, he really had the rug pulled out from underneath him."
Despite Smith's departure, Evans stayed with the team and started in 25 games last season, averaging 31 minutes per game and 10 points per game.
Evans will graduate in the spring with a degree in business administration with an emphasis in management. Entering his final semester of college, Evans is enjoying every moment on the court with his teammates.
"It's crazy. It feels like I was just playing basketball yesterday as a little kid," he said. "But there's just two months left and you have to put everything on the line. You just have to go out there and treat every day like it's your last."
While he said he would not pass up an opportunity to continue playing basketball after college, he has more ambitious plans.
He is a producer of X-Fac Entertainment, a rap label he started six years ago.
"It just started out as a hobby, but then I started to take it more seriously," said Evans, who has his own home studio and enjoys creating music.
The Minneapolis-based label has grown to include five artists that perform in bars and nightclubs in the Twin Cities area.
Evans cited rap artists and entrepreneurs Jay-Z and Sean "Diddy" Combs as influences in his musical life.
"They are the people who have come from nothing to build up their own establishment," he said.
Evans said he will become more involved with X-Fac Entertainment after he graduates as he looks to find a management-based job opportunity.
Evans also has a daughter, Karrianna, who will turn two years old in April.
"She keeps me straight and out of trouble," Evans said. "I call home every day since I can't be with her every step of the way right now. But I send down money to help out with diapers and things. She's my pride and joy."