In the wake of St. John’s Round of 64 loss to Gonzaga in the NCAA Tournament, the focus surrounding the ten-man senior class, guided to national relevance by head coach Steve Lavin, shifted to how many fourth-year Johnnies would move on to the professional level.
After the starting backcourt of Paris Horne and Dwight Hardy were first to sign overseas, reigning Big East Sixth Man of the Year Justin Burrell and swingman Justin Brownlee were next to make the jump to professional basketball.
It only seemed fitting that the man to wear jersey No. 5 would be the fifth Red Storm graduate to sign a contract. And, after two weeks of tryouts, the dream has come true for Sean Evans.
Evans officially accepted a deal with the Dusseldorf Giants of Germany’s Pro A League this past Tuesday, indeed making him the fifth from the St. John’s Class of 2011 to play professional basketball this season.
The Pro A League is the German version of the NBDL, as it works to funnel players into the German Bundesliga, where Evans’ senior classmate Paris Horne currently plays with BG Gottingen.
“I am very excited to be playing professionally and opening this new chapter of my life,” said Evans in a press release. “I am excited and humbled at the same time. I want to thank all of my coaches at St. John’s, they taught me so much.”
Evans’ head coach offered a testimonial, as well, when approached for comment about the Philadelphia native’s life-changing decision.
“We are pleased that Sean has received this well-deserved opportunity to play professional basketball,” remarked Steve Lavin. “His improved play was a key to our late-season surge and push into the NCAA Tournament. We are confident that Sean will take the lessons learned last year and add true value to his new team.”
Evans, a bruising 6-8, 259-pound forward, established himself among the Red Storm’s most consistent performers as a junior in 2009-10, and his 11 career double-doubles included an 11-point, 12-rebound effort vs. Syracuse in the 2011 BIG EAST Tournament.
His knack for big-game play included averaging 13.8 ppg and 9.5 rpg while shooting 67.7 percent from the field and 76.5 percent at the free throw line in four games across his junior and senior BIG EAST Tournaments, and his 10-point, 5-of-5 field goal effort in St. John’s 93-78 victory over No. 3/3 Duke on Jan. 30, 2011 at a sold-out Madison Square Garden was one of the shining moments in what would come to be the Red Storm’s biggest win at the Garden in nearly a decade.