Courtesy Hofstra Athletic Communications
Not even a broken nose suffered against number-one ranked Connecticut on Nov. 27 could slow down freshman Shante Evans’s quick adjustment from playing girl’s high school basketball in suburban Philadelphia to Division I women’s college hoops. Since the pain she incurred at UConn, the 6’0 forward has pressed ahead with her stellar inside play despite having to wear a mask and through Hofstra’s first nine games leads the Pride in scoring and rebounding.
Thanks to the effort Evans has given in the paint, the Pride are off to a 6-3 start heading into its next game at home versus Stony Brook on Monday night at 7 p.m. In Hofstra’s last game at Manhattan a week ago, Evans scored a career high 22 points along with 10 rebounds for her fourth double-double of her young career to help lead the Pride to a 73-65 win.
"She’s the kind of the kid that is so unselfish but yet really competitive and has a lot of goals but she doesn’t let anything get to her head,” said Hofstra women’s basketball head coach Krista Kilburn-Steveskey of her star freshman, who is averaging 11.8 points per game and 7.2 rebounds per game. “She has the total package.”
Kilburn-Steveskey was aggresive in recruiting Evans, who was ranked the 54th best player in the class of 2009 and the ninth best forward by ESPN/HoopGurlz after she tallied 2,168 points at Henderson High School in West Chester, Pa. A comfort level with the Pride coaching staff and players was a huge reason why Evans opted to choose Hofstra over other schools that recruited her like Seton Hall, West Virginia, George Washington and Temple. “I wanted to be somewhere where I felt at home and was close to home,” said Evans.
In addition to bringing her offensive and rebounding talent to Hofstra, Evans has also exhibited a hard work ethic at every practice to try and improve her game. Early in her college career the West Chester, Pa. native has been working to master a consistent medium range jump shot that would create even more havoc for opposing defenses. “They are giving me that shot so I have to practice knocking it down,” said Evans.
With Evans hot play in the non-conference portion of the season Kilburn-Steveskey has high hopes for the Colonial Athletic Association schedule that begins Jan. 3 at William & Mary and for the future of Hofstra women's basketball. “She is going to be a signature to this university and to this program,” she said.