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All-American Dana Evans to return to Gary with Louisville

All-American Dana Evans to return to Gary with Louisville

  • Updated

Dana Evans is coming home.

The former West Side star and current Louisville senior is returning to Gary this winter as the Cardinals will take on Valparaiso at the Genesis Center on Dec. 19.

The contracts have yet to be officially signed for the game, but Louisville coach Jeff Walz announced the game while meeting with Louisville media on Wednesday morning and Valparaiso coach Mary Evans confirmed the contest later in the day.

“It’s going to be a lot of fun,” Mary Evans said. “Louisville is a top-5 team in the country and it will be a good experience to see where we match up. I remember Dana from the recruiting trail and seeing her play in the summer. She is a very gifted player, just a fantastic player.”

Dana Evans ‘numb’ when Louisville’s season ended; knew she would be an All-American

Ticket sales and related gameday information will be announced at a later date.

Dana Evans was named the Atlantic Coast Conference Player of the Year this season, becoming the first player in conference history to go from being named Sixth Player of the Year to Player of the Year. The 5-foot-6 guard was also named one of 10 WBCA All-Americans after averaging 18.0 points and 4.2 assists per game while shooting 43.1% from the 3-point line. She was also a second-team Associated Press All-American.

“Most of our trips, if we’re going someplace, unless it’s a Thanksgiving tournament, it’s to try and take a player back home to be able to play in front of their family and friends,” Walz said in a virtual press conference on Wednesday morning.

Walz went on to say that the event in Gary initially started off as a four-team tournament, but changes had to be made in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

REGION COLLEGIANS: Gary native Dana Evans named ACC Player of the Year at Louisville

Dana Evans has played in a handful of games in Indiana since she started her collegiate career. She won at Indiana as a freshman and then fell to Notre Dame in South Bend as a sophomore. She gained a measure of revenge over the Irish earlier this year when Louisville beat Notre Dame 86-54 at Purcell Pavilion. Evans finished with a team-high 17 points, six assists and three steals.

“We’ve seen Dana play a dozen times in a Louisville uniform, including a couple times at Notre Dame,” former West Side coach Rod Fisher said. “It will be cool to see her play in Gary. I coached for 40 some years and there was only ever one Dana. This event in Gary will be one of the first of its kind. I don’t think there’s ever been a men’s or women’s program with the accolades of what Louisville women’s basketball is to come into Gary for a game like this.”

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Paul Oren has been a correspondent reporter for The Times since 2005. A member of the United States Basketball Writers Association, Paul has spent more than 15 years covering Valparaiso basketball.

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