After bouncing around from high school to prep school to junior college, Tyree Evans was looking for a place where he could start fresh and not be continually reminded of his well-documented past.
Enter Motlow State (Tenn.) Community College head coach Bobby Steinburg, who welcomed Evans to spend his sophomore year of junior college with the Bucks.
“Oh man, he was very important in my life,” Evans said of Steinburg. “He scooped me up like an ice cream cone. I turned down (an opportunity to play at Chipola (Fla.) College) for coach Steinburg. [Motlow] wasn’t a major school and they weren’t that great, so I came in, tried to put stuff together, put the puzzle together and we came up with a great year, 28-5. He was a great guy. ... He just inspired my life. He just showed me what was out there.”
Evans, who signed with Maryland two weeks ago, will enroll at College Park this summer, four years after finishing high school in Richmond, Va. Needless to say, it’s been a long wait for Evans.
“I can’t even wait. I think about it all the time,” Evans said. “I’m a very patient guy, but it’s just like my grandma, my family, everybody in Richmond has just been waiting for this day. You have some people wanting to bring you down and a lot of people wanting to see you do right and roll with your dream.”
Here's an introduction to Evans.
Name: Tyree Evans
Birthplace: Richmond, Va.
Hometown: Richmond, Va.
Position: Shooting guard
Junior College: Motlow State (Tenn.) Community College
High School: George Wythe High School in Richmond, Va.
Sophomore statistics: 21.1 points, 5.1 rebounds, 2.1 steals and 2.0 assists
Other schools considered: Tennessee, Kansas State, Mississippi State, West Virginia
Favorite NBA player: Gilbert Arenas
Favorite NBA team: Washington Wizards
Favorite all-time Terp: Len Bias, Steve Francis
Favorite music: Gucci Mane, Lil Boosie
Favorite book: Only the Strong Survive: The Odyssey of Allen Iverson by Larry Platt
Favorite movie: Don't Be a Menace to South Central While Drinking Your Juice in the Hood
Favorite TV show: The Wayans Bros, The Boondocks
Favorite food: Soul food
Favorite junior college class: Business
Favorite thing about College Park: “Just the people out there. I went out there and fell in love with all the people. I met some of the fans, the staff at the University of Maryland -- it just felt like a second home.”
Other high school sports: Football (wide receiver, cornerback)
Hobbies: “I like to build stuff ... I made this TV stand. We didn’t have a TV stand in our apartment, so I made one out of a couple of wooden legs from an old table and used the top from a table.”
Intended major: “Business and marketing. I want to get into real estate.”
Something that not many people know about you: “I’m an animal lover. I don’t really like cats though, but like reptiles and stuff like that -- exotic animals.”
Best basketball moment: “When I played my cousin (Boston College guard) Tyrese Rice in the opening game of the districts (in high school). I had 51 points. I went like 25 out of 29 and had 31 points the first half.”
Role model: “I look at Allen Iverson as a role model because he came from my same circumstances. He got in trouble, kept on fighting and following his dreams. He never gave up. A lot of people that have a lot of good talent, they just give up as soon as they get out of high school. He’s a fighter. He kept fighting for it like I kept fighting for mine.”
Why Maryland? “Home away from home. It’s like me and (Terps assistant) Chuck Driesell -- there’s a trust thing. We have a great relationship. I’ve known him for at least two years. He always believed in me. And coach [Gary] Williams, he’s a great guy. He believed in me as well, just as the Maryland family did in offering me a scholarship, and I’m going to make them not regret giving me the scholarship because I’m going to bring them something they’ve been missing for a long time.”