If you have seen a Schuylkill Valley High School boys basketball game this season, it doesn’t take long to notice that Evan Hargrave is the leader of the team. He takes that role seriously, doing all that he can to help make his teammates better, and his team win.
He is a vocal leader on the team, and he is the guy the team depends on. He leads the team in scoring and in rebounding. His 17.9 points a game average places him third in the Berks League. Make no mistake, Evan is the engine that makes this team run.
“Evan is the player that our teams looks for to make plays for us when things are on the line,’ said head coach Taylor Grim. “He’s the player that usually dictates how we play. If Evan plays well, we tend to play well. If he doesn’t have one of his best games, we tend to struggle.’
Despite his efforts, it’s been a struggle for the Panthers this season. They are 1-5 in the Berks League and 5-10 overall. Hargrave had one of his best games of his career when the Panthers played host to Twin Valley on Jan. 16. He poured in 29 points and the Panthers came very close to a big upset victory. But Twin Valley came out on top in double overtime, 70-68.
“We just have to work together and player harder,’ said Hargrave about his team’s chances of turning things around in the second half of the season. “Now that we have Connor (Sausser) back from being hurt, and knowing that the next couple games are winnable, its time for us to have a turn around and be that team we know we can be.’
Hargrave is not one to count on anyone else to lead the team. He’s a senior, the leading scorer and leadting rebounder, and not only does he want to be the team leader, he feels it’s his responsibility.
“Yes, as a senior it’s my responsibility to be that person your team countsh, and be the guy on and that is there for them,’ said Hargrave. “I would call myself a loud vocal leader. If you ever see me play, I’m always pushing my teammates. I’m always clapping and yelling so that they know I’m there and playing with them and that I’m not stopping until there is no more time left in the game.’
Evan began his love for the sport of basketball in second grade. He watch the black top games at City Park and wanted to be a part of the action. His mom got him on a team and he quickly took to the game.
“My mom ask me if I wanted to play ,and when I played my first game, I became in love with the game,’ said Evan. “I love being in that moment when there is 10 seconds left in the game and the score is tied up and you need that one basket to win. I feel that’s when the game is intense and nobody knows what’s going to happen untill it happens and the game is all in your hands.’
As the season winds down, so his Evan’s high school basketball career. Whether his team is fighting for a playoff spot or not, one thing is for sure, Hargrave will never spot playing at full speed from the opening tip-off to the final buzzer.