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Isaiah Evans Talks Buckets, Confidence And Being A State Champion

One of the greatest feelings in hoops is letting your team win almost single-handedly. Great confidence fills the veins. The pressure, the noise, the hungry eyes of the defenders and their clapping hands all seem to flow. There is only one thought to repeat: the ball falling into the net. The night is March 8, 2024.

Inside the green-accented gym of Myers Park High School in Charlotte, NC, stands 6-7-year-old Isaiah Evans. In front of him is a sea of ​​white t-shirts shouting obscenities. But here’s the thing: Slim—one of his many monikers—was raised for this place. Hell, you live for it.

The nation’s No. 13 prospect in the Class of 2024 (via 247 Sports) is built differently. Nights like this are full of surprise speeches and crazy trash talking to the crowd—only after you’ve been wiped out of his way. His tongue flicking from side to side as he begins to side-step middie’s claim, it would be a good business decision to just get out of the way. Although few—very few—have succeeded in doing so.

Decked out in his royal blue and red in North Mecklenburg, the future Duke Blue Devil pulled his team to the finish line against the defending 4A state champions in a tense atmosphere that rivaled the Drake/Kendrick Lamar beef. And yet, Showtime Slim has created a masterpiece: 48 pieces are not fried—21 in a row during the second half.

“I always had a sense of enthusiasm about me, but I really started to get active my sophomore year, right after that ninth grade summer,” Evans said. “I took it personally.”

After being named to the JV team during his freshman year, Evans spent the next summer grinding his way onto the varsity as a sophomore. In Slim’s words, “It was time to open up.” After making the switch two years ago, the 18-year-old now holds the title of one of the deadliest scorers in his class. Gatorade State Player of the Year in North Carolina, McDonald’s All-American, reigning state champion and SLAM All-American—the list of accolades only cemented his legacy.

He was just over a month into his sophomore campaign before the big college offers started rolling in, quickly turning into rain. While his peers started enrolling in prep school, Slim chose to stay at home, finishing his last days of high school in the town that raised him.

“I got those first few gifts [my] the second year, there was no reason to leave,” Evans said. “You play the national program every year, you go to these tournaments with these top teams, so I will be open. And I feel better every year, so what’s the point of going?”

After pouring in 23 points — including four treys — Evans’ hometown trip was cemented with an undefeated season and 2024 state champions. While the visions of Cameron Indoor and hostile crowds are in the near future, Evans knows he will miss the memories of those happy Fridays when he made a play at his will. But there is still one solvent, a reminder of his legacy.

After igniting the North Carolina basketball community as the latest hometown star, Evans was cemented in North Mecklenburg history by having his jersey retired at the end of April. He allowed us to be respectful when we spoke.

“Most people don’t know this, but I will be the first and the last to wear number 0. [at North Meck]. It meant a lot to me.”

Photos by Luke Schlaifer.

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