Penguin’s Perseverance Pays Off

By Josh Brody in Sports

Everywhere he goes, Clark’s sophomore point guard walks with his chest out and chin up. This strut has earned him the nickname “Swag” since elementary school.

Some have confused this for arrogance; Evan Garrison calls it confidence.

This confidence comes from hours of practice and a desire to win, ending the season averaging nearly 13 points per game and 5.4 assists.

Garrison’s work ethics were established in high school, after he realized his potential in basketball. His desire to be the best was born the summer before his sophomore year.

“After playing swingman my freshman year, I just wanted to play varsity,” Garrison said. “So I got ahold of the keys to my high school gym and would wait until the janitor left, and I would practice from 11 p.m. to 3 a.m. sometimes.”

He also credits his family for where he is today.

“If I didn’t have my dad pushing me to be the best I don’t know what I would be doing right now. Probably not this,” Garrison said as he spun a basketball on his finger and shot it.

Former high school teammate and Penguin shooting guard Bryan Berg recalled summer nights during high school when Garrison called him to get in more practice.

“The dedication that Evan has for the game is unbelievable. He pushes me to want to do better because I see how big of a difference it can make,” Berg said.

When Garrison isn’t on the court, he’s thinking about the next time he will be.

Garrison rarely speaks before a game but when he’s out on the court he’s constantly chirping.

“When I am in the game, all the things I say aren’t to tear others down, but to pump myself up,” Garrison explains.

Garrison excels at leading the offense and is currently fourth in the NWAC in assists, averaging 5.44 per game.

Garrison’s competitiveness is reflected in the classroom as well. He made the NWAC All-Academic team with a 3.78 cumulative GPA.

He said his academic success directly correlates with his ability to advance in basketball.

“When higher division scouts are looking at such a wide volume of talent, it is up to the individual players to improve their lives outside the gym to impress beyond basketball ability,” Garrison said.

Head Coach Alex Kirk and Assistant Coach Tim Marrion see the potential that the aspiring Division I point guard has, and they are helping him reach his goals.

“We are working really hard with him to be recruited at that level,” Marrion said. “I think he is well deserving of it.”

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