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High School sports

Former Poly boys basketball standout, Baltimore native Kwame Evans Jr., ranked No. 2 in Class of 2023, commits to Oregon

Former Poly basketball standout and Baltimore native Kwame Evans Jr., now a rising senior at Florida national power Montverde Academy, committed to play at Oregon on Tuesday.

The 6-foot-9, 200-pound forward is a five-star recruit ranked No. 2 nationally in the Class of 2023 by ESPN and No. 7 by 247Sports. Last season for Montverde, his first in the program, he helped lead the Eagles to a 23-4 and second straight Geico High School National Championship.

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In the title game on April 2 in Fort Myers, Florida, Evans finished with 11 points in Montverde’s 60-49 win over Missouri’s Link Academy.

Evans chose Oregon over Arizona, Auburn and Kentucky among the many other Division I schools that expressed interest. Last season, the Ducks finished 20-15 under coach Dana Altman, who has 690 Division I wins in 32 seasons that also included stints at Creighton, Kansas State and Marshall.

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Evans wrote in a text message to The Baltimore Sun that he “chose Oregon because the coaching staff made me feel welcome and they were really invested in me since Day 1. I felt like they were going to develop me the best.”

Evans, who plays club ball for Team Durant EYBL in Prince George’s County, came to Poly as a highly-prized freshman prospect with polished skills.

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He earned a starting job on a senior-laden team that was poised to capture a fourth straight Class 3A state championship. But the 2019-20 season was halted due to the coronavirus pandemic the day of the state semifinals and he never played another game as an Engineer.

After the 2020-21 season was canceled, Evans transferred to Montverde and had a fine junior season. Montverde, which has won six national titles, has produced several NBA players including Cade Cunningham (Oklahoma State), RJ Barrett (Duke) and Ben Simmons (LSU).

National pundits project Evans to play forward in college with the ability to play as a big wing or power forward in smaller lineups.

Colby Giacubeno, a national scout for Prep Hoops who primarily focuses on Washington, Maryland and Virginia, first saw Evans play in a summer pickup game before his freshman year at Poly. He’s been impressed with Evans’ versatility, maturity and consistent development and believes Oregon is an ideal fit.

“I think he brings everything you would want in what we would call a combo forward in today’s game,” Giacubeno said. “He has confidence to shoot from the outside and have an impact from the outside. But I think where he’s taken his biggest steps over the past calendar year is his confidence to put the ball on the floor and take it all the way to the cup and finish even when contact comes his way.”

With his college decision behind him, Evans has his attention set on building on his junior year at Montverde.

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“I feel very happy, relieved that I put so much work to get here, but there is still more to go,” he said. “This senior year, I’m looking forward to winning another national championship now.”


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