Oak Mountain’s Wilder Evers signs with national-champion Kansas Jayhawks
Published 12:49 pm Wednesday, April 27, 2022
By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Managing Editor
NORTH SHELBY – Three weeks after the Kansas Jayhawks cut down the nets to celebrate their fourth NCAA National Championship, Oak Mountain’s Wilder Evers held a special signing ceremony to cement his plans of becoming part of the storied program.
Evers, who has been part of a historic trek for Oak Mountain’s basketball team the last three years, went on several visits throughout the year to see the Jayhawks and head coach Bill Self, eventually earning a walk-on offer.
Now, he’ll not only get to be a part of the university both of his parents graduated from, but he’ll get to join his older brother Stone Evers, who is currently on the Kansas baseball team.
During his signing ceremony, Evers was excited to reminisce and thank his support system for helping him accomplish that goal.
“I want to thank my coaches, my teammates, my family and everyone who pushed me for helping me get here and live out a dream,” Evers said before signing.
As for his mom and dad, they were also excited to see the special day as former track athletes for the Jayhawks.
“It’s exciting that he gets to go to the University of Kansas and join his brother Stone there,” Sandy Evers said. “We wish it was closer, but we will be taking lots of flights there. It’s extra special for Mike and I. We both ran track at the University of Kansas and it’s our Alma Matter. We couldn’t be more excited and more proud to have two of our kids now playing sports at Kansas.”
And a year after Sandy and Mike took a picture with Stone Evers, Wilder’s brother, with their letterman jackets on, they were overcome with joy at the opportunity to do it again with Wilder. parents got to do the
During his time at Oak Mountain, Evers helped lead the Eagles to three consecutive trips to the Elite Eight the last three years, while he was key in helping them reach the Final Four in 2020 and 2021.
In the second of those back-to-back Final Four seasons, Evers, a junior, helped Oak Mountain capture its first state championship in school history.
With his consistent play, he was named to the All-County basketball team the last two years, including a spot on the Second Team this past season after averaging 11.8 points, 4.3 rebounds and three assists per game.
But for head coach Chris Love, who recently announced this past season was his last, it was much more about Evers as a person than a player.
“Wilder was one of our leaders for our program over these last four years, and his senior class were leaders for our program that did something that hadn’t been done before in school history in making the Final Four as a sophomore and winning a championship as a junior,” Love said. “But the thing that’s special about Wilder and our group and our family as a whole at Oak Mountain is the selflessness with which we do things. Our program never has been built on being about one guy. It’s about the team. We feel like we’re better pushing together than pulling apart.”
Love said Evers averaged around 11-12 points per game, but he easily could have done more.
“After his sophomore season and the run he had to get us to the Final Four, he could have come back and said, ‘I’m it. I’m the dog.’ But it was all about the team. We wouldn’t have been able to do what we did together and what we accomplished together without that selflessness.”
Love said he hoped that message served as a lesson during such a special moment that the ones who do get that opportunity most often tend to be the ones with that level of selflessness.
“I hope we get out of this moment, not just how great of a person Wilder is, but how great of a person he is and what high character he has,” Love said. “He was about our team, he was about our program and he was about doing whatever he needed to for our program to be successful, and that’s special.”
Evers will now head off to Lawrence after he graduates to join the Jayhawks.