Gary continues basketball career at FMU

Tim Laurent, Sports Writing

It was when he was a freshman in high school that Evrik Gary realized he had the potential to play basketball for a long time. He’s now a sophomore starting shooting guard for the men’s basketball team at Francis Marion University.

“As far as I can remember, I’ve had a basketball in my hand,” Gary said.

Gary came to FMU from Camden, S.C., and he is majoring in business marketing.

He played many sports growing up before deciding to focus just on basketball. As a child, he tried his hand at tennis, and he played soccer and football up to his middle school years.

He played baseball as an eighth grader for Camden High School and joined the Camden High J.V. basketball team his freshman year.

Gary knew it would require hard work and dedication to get noticed by a school on the next level.

“In high school, I didn’t have an actual gym to practice in, so I would do all of my work in the backyard,” Gary said. “We had a light set up on my back porch, so I would be in the backyard taking shots at all times of the night. My mom used to get so mad because I was out there so late.”

As Gary neared the end of his high school playing career, his hard work translated to the high school court, and he began to receive a lot of attention from schools looking to recruit him.

Gary said the desire to stay closer to home and the desire to have his family come and see him play both drove his decision to come to FMU. He also said he knew he would be able to get more playing time there, as compared to other schools.

As an individual, Gary said he needs to continue to get stronger. He is one of the lightest players on this year’s team, weighing in at 154 pounds.

He said that he feels his ability to add muscle to his frame will make him more of a physical threat and a better defensive player.

Gary noted that this year’s squad has a lot of new players. The team returns only three players from last year’s 16-win team.

Gary said that he thinks that this team has a lot of potential.

“We definitely have the talent to have a great year,” Gary said. “Once we get used to playing as a team, we’ll be fine.”

In the Patriot’s second game of this season, Gary set a new career-high with points scored, putting up 27 points against St. Andrews University.