Ten things to know about former South Carolina assistant basketball coach Lamont Evans, who was among four coaches and a total of 10 people who were charged in U.S. District Court in New York in a corruption scandal that included taking cash bribes to steer players to financial advisers and sports agents.
1. Florida connection
Evans, a native of Eleuthera, Bahamas, first came to the United States at the age of five, settling in Deerfield Beach, Fla. He was a standout point guard at Hallandale High School in Hallandale, Fla., where he was first-team All-State during his senior season in 1995-96. Florida was where Evans got to know Frank Martin, who was coaching at Miami Senior High.
2. College player
Evans played his first two years of college basketball at Seminole (Fla.) Junior College in Sanford, Fla., and St. Catharine College in St. Catharine, Ky., before enrolling at Drake in 1999. Evans played two seasons at Drake where he earned All-MVC and All-Newcomer Team accolades.
3. Pro player
After Drake, he played seven years professionally around the world. His stops included the U.S. Basketball League (USBL), playing for the Lakeland (Fla.) Blue Ducks, and internationally with teams in Slovenia, Germany, Finland, Belgium and Venezuela. He led teams in Slovenia and Belgium to championships, while he was named one of the top international point guards during his time in Germany.
4. Kansas State days
Evans served as a student assistant (2008-09) and a graduate manager (2009-11) at Kansas State for coach Frank Martin's Wildcats. Evans earned his bachelor's degree in social science from Kansas State in the spring of 2009. He was named an assistant coach at Kansas State for Martin during the 2011-12 season.
5. At South Carolina
Evans was hired by Martin at South Carolina in 2012. He worked mainly with USC's guards, while helping to coordinate team practices and opponent scouting and recruiting. "Though young in actual experience, Lamont was preparing to coach even during his playing days," Martin said of Evans. "He is very well connected in the world of grassroots basketball and has great knowledge of the game." He helped the Gamecocks sign the No. 23 recruiting class in the nation according to ESPN.com in 2013.
6. Getting the big ones
Former USC assistant coach Matt Figger said Evans was “so pivotal” in the recruiting of stars Sindarius Thornwell and P.J. Dozier. “I’ve never seen a person work as hard to recruit one kid in P.J. Dozier as Lamont Evans did,” Figger, now the head coach at Austin Peay, told CBS Sports in April. Dozier was the fourth McDonald’s All-American in history to sign with South Carolina. “PJ trusted Lamont,” Figger said. “I’ve been in this business 24 years. That was as good a job recruiting a kid as I have ever seen.”
7. Recruiting Sin
Evans and Martin sold Thornwell on being USC basketball’s version of football stars Jadeveon Clowney or Alshon Jeffery. “Sin’s an alpha male,” Evans told CBS Sports in April. “He has a great pride about him. At the same time, Sin’s family was a big influence on him staying close to home. He bridged the gap and brought a bond with him and closeness to him.”
8. On to Oklahoma State
After four seasons at USC, Evans left to join Brad Underwood’s staff at Oklahoma State. Underwood, also a former USC assistant under Martin, stayed one season at Oklahoma State before leaving for Illinois. Evans was retained and named associate head coach at Oklahoma State when Mike Boynton, a former player and coach at USC, was named head coach of the Cowboys.
9. Watching the Final Four
“I’m proud of them. They knew my fight and how much I fought for them. We was tough on those guys, me especially. Whoo. There were days they didn’t have to worry about Frank,” Evans told CBS sports in April about USC being in the Final Four.
10. Family matters
Evans and his wife, Ebony, have a son, Lamont Jr.