Thursday, Feb. 5, 2009 | 6 p.m.
Silverado freshman Alena Evans said she would be hard-pressed to think of a better spot to be in for her freshman season with the girls basketball team.
A forward out of Bob Miller Middle School, Evans was integrated almost immediately into the Skyhawks' varsity team and quickly earned herself a starting spot along standouts like senior center Mikayla Thielges and junior point guard Shea Collins.
Evans said sharing court-time with players of that caliber has helped her step-up her game to a level that has surprised even her.
The freshman is second on the team in scoring at 13.7 points per game and second in rebounds at 8.6 per game, trailing Collins (15.3 points) and Thielges (9.2 rebounds), respectively.
"Last year I was excited when I knew I was going to come to Silverado," Evans said. "It's a great program and there are a lot of great players here. Working with them has definitely made me better. I learn a lot from them and they've been really kind and helpful."
Collins, a freshman starter herself two seasons ago, said Evans has shown the type of work ethic that should help her continue to improve.
"Alena works hard all the time. She doesn't slow down," Collins said. "She's smarter about basketball than most freshman so it makes her really easy to work with. If she starts hitting her jump shots more consistently nobody will be able to guard her."
Evans said the work ethic is the product of her determination to make as much of an impact as she can at Silverado in order to achieve her dream of playing college basketball. Silverado coach Kelli Matthews said she has been impressed with Evans' contributions.
"Alena has brought a lot to our team this year as a freshman," Matthews said. "She's really producing. She's very positive, willing to learn and coachable. She's been huge."
Jared Harmon can be reached at 990-8922 or firstname.lastname@example.org.