‘Never Too Late’: Maurice Evans Slam-Dunks A College Degree

There was no money and no promotion in it for Maurice Evans when he got up at 5 a.m. and drove the two hours from Katy to Austin for most of this year.

Evans, 32, was already an NBA star. He was even president of the players’ association, with a reputation as one of the smartest guys in the league.

Just one thing nagged at the former Longhorn standout: he didn’t have a college degree.

“A lot of people would meet me and commend me for being educated and say how well-spoken I am, and invariably they would ask, ‘What did you get your degree in?’ and I didn’t have one,” Evans told the Houston Chronicle. “I wasn’t embarrassed by it or anything, but I just wanted to validate the person that I am. I wanted to meet the challenge of getting a college degree before I finish my NBA career.”

He re-enrolled at UT under the guidance of Randa Ryan, senior associate athletic director for student-athlete services.

He could spend two years going at his diploma bit by bit, she told him.

But Evans is a hard-charger in more ways than one. He loaded on 18 hours during the spring semester (yes, during the NBA season to boot), and took full loads during each of the summer sessions, too.

Last Friday, he took his last final in a child-development class.

“The most difficult thing is staying motivated to get a degree that may or may not help you directly, that isn’t a direct benefit on your job or leads directly to money into your account,” Evans said. “To an extent, getting a degree isn’t necessarily going to change my life or life plans. So a lot of people probably don’t understand what it means.

“On that drive, I felt a great sense of relief. I had gotten the monkey off my back, so to speak. I was proud. This is something I can show my daughter. I’m blessed that I am able to contribute something to my family legacy, other than athleticism and money.”

Evans isn’t the only player who has returned for his degree recently. Reggie Freeman and Kris Clack were among the ’90s basketball players taking classes this summer, and of course, Vince Young has worked toward his diploma recently too.

Photo courtesy UT Athletics




No comments

Be the first one to leave a comment.

Post a Comment