Former EMCC All-American DJ Evans has been named assistant men’s basketball coach at East Mississippi Community College, as announced this week by EMCC head men’s basketball coach Billy Begley.
Evans, who helped lead the EMCC Lions to back-to-back NJCAA Tournament appearances in 2011 and 2012, most recently served as an assistant coach last season at Coastal Bend College in Beeville, Texas. Prior to that, he returned to his alma mater and spent the 2016-17 season as the video coordinator for the men’s basketball program at the University at Albany.
“DJ embodies everything you want in a coach. He has extremely high character, relates to the players really well and is a tireless worker on and off the court,” Begley said. “DJ brings to this basketball program all the intangibles that go into winning because of the success he enjoyed previously here at EMCC and most recently at UAlbany. The bottom line is that DJ is a winner and he knows what it takes to be successful.”
After helping lead Coach Will Brown’s UAlbany Great Danes to a pair of NCAA Tournament berths with back-to-back America East Conference Tournament titles in 2013 and 2014, Evans played professionally one season for the Fribourg Olympic team in Switzerland’s top basketball league.
Evans completed his collegiate playing career as a 34-game senior starter at point guard and team MVP for UAlbany, ranking as the team’s second-leading scorer at 11.8 points per game on the year. He also averaged 3.4 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 1.4 steals, while shooting 40 percent overall from the field and 77 percent from the free throw line during the 2013-14 season. After being named to the 2014 America East Conference All-Tournament Team, Evans capped his college playing days by matching his career high with 22 points in the Great Danes’ 71-64 NCAA Tournament win over Mount St. Mary’s followed by a 21-point outing against top-ranked Florida.
“I am ecstatic to be back here at EMCC because Scooba has always been a second home to me,” Evans said. “I am eager to team up with Coach (Billy) Begley again and to be molded into a better coach by a coach who recruited me. I am extremely grateful for this opportunity to demonstrate my EMCC pride by sharing my playing and coaching experiences with our talented players and hopefully influencing them in positive ways.”
Prior to helping lead UAlbany to a two-year composite record of 43-26, Evans helped lead East Mississippi Community College to a two-year overall record of 48-11 and consecutive appearances in the NJCAA Division I National Tournament in Hutchinson, Kan. As a 56-game starter during his two seasons playing for former EMCC head coach Mark White in Scooba, Evans compiled per-game averages of 14.3 points, 4.1 assists, 2.9 rebounds and 1.6 steals for his EMCC career.
Evans capped his productive playing career at East Mississippi by averaging a team-leading 15.6 points, 4.1 assists and 1.7 steals per contest on the way to being selected to the 2011-12 NJCAA Division I All-America Second Team. The standout playmaker also shot 41 percent overall from the field, 37 percent from three-point range and 71 percent from the free throw line as a sophomore in helping lead the Lions to their third of four consecutive NJCAA Tournament appearances earlier this decade. As an EMCC freshman, Evans averaged 13.1 points, 4.1 assists, 2.6 rebounds and 1.4 steals an outing for the 25-5 Lions.
A product of Brandon High School, Evans was an All-Metro Second Team selection by The Clarion-Ledger newspaper after averaging 20.3 points, 3.4 assists and 2.3 steals per game as a prep senior for head coach Fred Barnes’ 23-8 Brandon Bulldogs. Evans’ 2009-10 season was highlighted by a 52-point performance against Warren Central in which he hit 14-of-23 shots from beyond the three-point arc.
With a bachelor’s degree in sociology from UAlbany, Evans remains active in his hometown by running elite basketball skills camps and clinics. He is married to the former Kieyschmen Spann of Brandon.