Reggie Evans attended Coffeyville Community College in Kansas for two years starting in 1998, then played his junior and senior years at Iowa. Evans had two terrific seasons at Iowa, averaging over 11 rebounds each season. He is only the fourth Iowa player to score 1,000 points in two seasons, and he racked up enough rebounds in that time to rank eighth in career rebounds at Iowa.
His name was not called at the 2002 NBA Draft, but Evans overcame this and turned into a solid NBA player.
Evans signed as a free agent with the Seattle SuperSonics for the 2002-03 season. He has been on an NBA roster for nine seasons, and played last season with Toronto.
Maybe it was his lack of offensive game that turned off potential employers after he put up impressive numbers at Iowa. While Evans lacks a great all-around game, he is a valuable NBA commodity because he does one thing well: rebound.
Evans' rebounding statistics are Rodman-esque. While only playing an average of 19.5 minutes per game over his entire career, Evans averaged 6.9 rebounds per game. Rebounding percentage is an advanced stat that estimates the percentage of available rebounds that the player grabbed while on the floor. According to basketball-reference.com, Evans' career rebounding percentage is 21.1%. To put this in perspective, Dwight Howard's career rebounding percentage is 20.9% Last season, in which Evans was limited to only 30 games due to injury, he managed to get 11.5 rebounds in 26.6 minutes per game, for a rebounding percentage of 25.6%.
Reggie Evans' game is not pretty. The first two videos that pop up when you type in "Reggie Evans" in youtube are as follows: Evans airballs a free throw and Evans grabs Chris Kaman in the nether regions. He probably won't be named to any All-Star teams anytime soon, but he has amassed over $26 million in his NBA career.
Reggie Evans has had more success in the league than most undrafted players, and it is because he has maximized his talents and found a niche. He is not a great all-around player, but he has had a long and successful career due to his hustle and hard work.
There will be a lot of prospects disappointed that their name isn't called this Thursday and they should keep Reggie Evans in mind. If the prospects work hard and have a skill that is useful in the league, such as rebounding or solid defense, being undrafted is an obstacle that can be overcome.