East Bladen Women’s Basketball Head Coach and Athletic Director, Patty Evers, has been selected to serve as one of the two head coaches in the 2022 edition of the annual McDonald’s All American Game in Chicago on March 29th, 2022. Her selection makes her the first coach from an NCHSAA school – or any school in the Tar Heel state – to serve as a head coach in the prestigious event. Evers will coach alongside and then opposite fellow honoree Hilda Hankerson from Westlake High School in Atlanta, GA who was also selected to serve as a head coach in the event.
“When I started coaching I was just happy to be coaching at my old high school,” said Coach Evers. “I got the job at Tar Heel. They needed a coach, and I just loved it.” She went on further describing her journey to falling in love with her profession, “One year [at Tar Heel] we went to the Sectional Finals and won a conference championship. I didn’t even realize there were regionals.” As she finished the last sentence of that story she summed it up with, “Once we made it to that Sectional Final game, I really started to think and realize that, ‘Oh, there’s bigger things out there.’”
Bigger things indeed for a coach that has been one of the steadiest in North Carolina throughout her tenure. Evers boasts a record of 555-131 in 26 years as a head coach and has been at East Bladen for 21 years. Her teams at East Bladen have been wildly successful, posting a combined record of 481-89 at East Bladen including a pair of 30-win teams and four Regional Championship teams.
Evers has always had a student-focused approach to coaching as she noted, “I just wanted my girls to learn. I just wanted them to work hard and want more for themselves and for the team. Then things just started happening.”
Coach Evers is a highly decorated coach, winning numerous NCHSAA awards including the Doris Howard Female State Coach of the Year, the Toby Webb Outstanding Coach Award, and the Homer Thompson Memorial “Eight Who Make A Difference” Awards. She was also honored by the National High School Basketball Coaches Association last November with the 2021 Wooden Legacy Award for North Carolina.
“Being a head coach for the McDonald’s All American Game is a great honor, even one of the greatest of my life. I mean, this is a national award! It is tremendous.” However, in a moment of reflection of her purpose in coaching, she added, “This is great, but it really right behind in comparison to the honor it has been for me to be able to shape the lives of my players and students.”
Team assignments will be made at a later date, however the player pool of 24 girls has been selected and announced. Evers will be joined in Chicago by Apex Friendship High School guard, Indya Nivar, a 5’9” senior who is committed to Stanford University. Nivar is averaging 18.9 points, 8.1 rebounds, and 3.6 assists per contest in her senior campaign for the 17-1 Patriots. It remains to be seen if Evers will get the opportunity to coach the only player from the state of North Carolina selected to participate in this year’s game.
The game is scheduled to be played on Tuesday, March 29, at Chicago’s Wintrust Arena, home of the WNBA’s Chicago Sky and DePaul University Basketball. The Women’s Game is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Eastern and to air on ESPN 2.