From dribbling the ball on the courts of Niles West to continuing his basketball career at Minnesota Moorhead University, alum Evan Hines’s passion for the sport has never wavered. Hines graduated from Niles West in 2016, and he is now entering his sophomore year of college.
Ever since he could walk, Hines has been playing basketball. As he got older, his passion grew, and he believes that high school basketball has taken him to where he is now.
“High school has shaped me in many ways on the court and off the court. Playing basketball during my high school years, both for the school team and my AAU team, is the reason why I am where I am today. High school taught me a lot of discipline having to practice every day and be there on time,” Hines said.
Something college has helped Hines with is independence. Being so far away from home and not having his parents there to rely on forced him to become more responsible.
“College has taught me to definitely be more independent. In college, making the right choices is a lot more important because you don’t have your parents right there to fix things for you,” Hines said. “College has taught me to discipline myself and has helped me grow up.”
Although throughout his time at West, Hines learned many significant lessons, he prefers the college atmosphere and has found a passion in his major.
“I like college more than high school because it offers a lot more classes, and I really like my team and the coaches. College is also less demanding in some ways, like not having to get up so early in the morning and not having classes for seven to eight hours a day,” Hines said. “I’m majoring in criminal justice because I’m interested in criminal cases and the law.”
In his basketball career, he has been able to develop and learn new things on the court by observing the older players on the team.
“My basketball career has grown defensively because my coaches really value defense. Playing at the college level has also helped me grow from watching the older players and learning from them. Playing with guys at a higher level pushed me to play at a higher level myself,” Hines said.
Former counselor Mitchell Stern remembers how Hines had fiery energy on the basketball court, and how he never expected that to come out of him.
“One of the things that stood out to me about him was that he was a lot different in school to me than he was on the basketball court. I always found him to be a laid-back, nice kid who didn’t seem to have a mean bone in his body. Then when he played basketball he wasn’t like that, he was more on the intense side,” Stern said.
Watching Hines transform from freshman year to senior year was something Stern remembers vividly.
“A lot of times, when freshman boys come into high school, [the can be] so extremely insecure. He was like that. It’s always good to watch them become young adults and mature, and understand life a little bit more. By the time he graduated I think that he definitely did that,” Stern said.
One teacher who bonded with Hines, after having him in a psychology, was history and psychology teacher Daniel Kosiba. Even after the class ended, the two continued to stay in touch.
“What made Evan so memorable for me was how passionate he got about psychology once he realized how relevant and applicable the content was to everyday, real-life situations. He would get so fired up and have so many questions that a lesson I thought would take a class period actually turned into a three-day class discussion,” Kosiba said. “We bonded initially because we were both into sports and athletics. Our relationship just got stronger from there. Even after the class was over, Evan always went out of his way to say hi to me.”
Make sure to support Hines as a Niles West alum when the basketball season at Minnesota Moorhead University takes off again later this year.