Hilton, we hardly know thee

From the sports editor

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By BRAD SPENCER

Meet Evan Hilton, high school basketball star at Oak Park and River Forest High School. Chances are, if not for an unfortunate injury, Hilton would be averaging approximately 20 points or more per game this season, college recruiters would be hounding him, the Huskies might have a better record than 10-8, and you by this point would already know his name?#34;and not by way of Paris.

But Hilton has played in only 2.5 games thus far. He went gimp just about a minute into the second half of a game at the Evanston Thanksgiving tournament on Nov. 26. His ankle rolled, a bone snapped in his right foot, and limping instead of leaping became common practice for the 6-foot-4-inch senior. He's had to sit on the bench and watch his team struggle to stay above water this season. It's been torture, says Hilton. He has, at times, been on the verge of tears.

"I want to be out there so bad," he confesses. "It hurts. When the team runs through the tunnel before a game I get so upset that I'm not out there."

You need to meet Evan Hilton. He's loyal, confident, smart, and yearning for a game he's pretty good at. The crutches are gone, so is the bootcast. Hilton is currently rehabbing. He says he just needs to build up the muscles in his foot and he'll be ready to go. Some are waiting. Tennessee State, Fresno State, Loyola, and NIU have all shown interest, but of course that was before the injury when he scored 27 points against Foreman, 23 against Providence-St. Mel and 11 in the first half before the heart-and-bone break.

His GPA hovers around 3.4. He averaged 12 points per game last year. He likes to listen to Tupac and spend time with his family, whether it's his nieces and nephews or his brethren on the team. But most of all Hilton wants to get back to playing basketball

So, without further ado, we'd like to formally introduce you to Evan Hilton, who by the way hopes to return to the court possibly by this weekend.

? Evan Hilton's hobbies include ? "Playing basketball; it's my love and life."

? Evan Hilton's dream is to ? "make it to the pros."

? If Evan hadn't broken his foot, the Huskies right now might be ? "undefeated."

? Evan Hilton can't stand it when ? "people give up on our team."

? Evan Hilton's most embarrassing moment in his life was ... "Eighth grade I missed a half-court shot at the buzzer in the championship game." That was embarrassing? "More heartbreaking than embarrassing. I don't get embarrassed to often."

? In five years Evan Hilton hopes to be ? "graduating from college and moving into the pros."

? Evan Hilton picked up his first basketball at the age of ? "infancy; I was a baby. Three older brothers got me into playing."

? Evan Hilton's favorite memory at OPRF thus far is ? "spending time with my family, which is the basketball team. It's all I really know."

? Evan Hilton likes to listen to ? "rap and R&B, specifically, Tupac."

? Evan Hilton's hairstyle is ? "cornrows and designs."

? Evan Hilton likes to watch ?. "music videos, and my favorite movie 'Friday.'"

? Evan Hilton's favorite class is ? "Math, that's what I succeed the best at."

? Evan Hilton spends most of his time ? "with my family or friends, or my four little nieces and nephews, A.J., Ayianna, Alijah, and Amiah."

? Evan Hilton's favorite thing in the world is ? "basketball and food, soul food."

? Evan Hilton's study habits are ? "work until I fully comprehend whatever it is I'm studying."

Nice to meet you, Evan Hilton.

Contact: bspencer@wjinc.com

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