Luke Evans comes from a basketball-loving family, but he stands tall above them all.
Evans is the 6-foot-8-inch starting center for the men’s basketball team at California Baptist University.
His basketball career traces back to when he found himself playing for his dad, who coached a fifth grade basketball team.
Even then, he was different from the other players. He was only in first grade at the time.
“I started playing basketball in kindergarten. I had two older brothers, and they were always playing, so I decided to join in,” Evans said.
Evans and his family are from Oceanside, Calif., where he excelled as a two-sport athlete at El Camino High School, picking up All-League honors in volleyball and All-CIF in basketball.
Prior to beginning league play his senior year in high school, Evans committed to play at CBU after graduation.
“They recruited me to come play here and they offered me a scholarship,” Evans said. “I made the decision pretty quickly.”
As an athlete, Evans’ days tend to be fairly routine. He wakes up early to finish his daily class schedule by 1 p.m., at which point he goes to the gym for two hours of practice and an hour of weight lifting three days a week.
“It’s nicer because we are practicing earlier this year, so usually we’ll be done by 5 p.m.,” Evans said.
Then comes dinner, homework, studying, sleeping and it repeats the next day.
“The best part of the week are definitely game days. Those and winning are what make all of our hard work worth the time,” Evans said.
The 2011-2012 season marks Evans’ third season as a starter at CBU. Last season, he led the team in scoring and rebounding and was named to the All-Golden State Athletic Conference (GSAC) team.
“My favorite part of my time here at CBU has been when we beat two [National Collegiate Athletic Association] Division I teams,” Evans said. “We beat Pepperdine University my freshman year and Southern Utah University last year.”
So far this season, Evans is second only to roommate Justus von Wright with 13.6 points per game. He is also ranked second in blocks and first with 107 rebounds.
“This has been our most successful year since I’ve been here, so it has been a lot of fun,” Evans said. “I just enjoy bonding with my teammates and winning.”
Evans and the rest of the team share the goal of reaching the National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA) championships in Chicago, Ill. in March.
Evans is majoring in business management and eventually plans on opening his own business. He has not put much thought into what type of business he wants to own because he plans on first playing professional basketball overseas.
“After I graduate, I’ll look into that option and play for anyone who wants to take me,” Evans said.
When his days are not taken up by constant practice, weight lifting, eating, sleeping and studying, Evans enjoys spending time with friends and going to the beach.
“Basketball is pretty much my life,” Evans said. “I do like to go home and hang out with friends and relax.”
Evans also follows the National Basketball Association (NBA), in particular the Los Angeles Lakers. He admitted his favorite player was Michael Jordan.
Evans’ next home game will be held at the Van Dyne Gym on Saturday, Feb. 4 at 7:30 p.m.