College Report: Neuqua’s Dwayne Evans a difference-maker for SLU hoops

Neuqua Valley graduate Dwayne Evans has a plan A and a plan B.

Evans, who recently finished his basketball career at Saint Louis University, has hopes of playing professional basketball. And there are teams showing interest.

Eventually, the recent sports business graduate is hoping to go to law school.

“I have been playing basketball since before I could walk,” said Evans. “I would love to continue. It would be a dream.”

Evans finished his career as the SLU record holder in games played with 134. The 6-foot-6, 230-pound forward, who made 123 starts, hit the top ten leader board in four other categories. His 1,499 career points ranks ninth, while his 942 rebounds ranks fourth. He ranks fourth in games started and ninth in minutes played (3,616).

As a senior, Evans led SLU in overall points (475), points per game (14.0), rebounds (222) and rebounds per game (6.5). He also had 43 assists, 41 steals and 20 blocked shots. He scored his points by hitting 168-of-340 from the floor and 134-of-179 from the free throw line. The 6-foot-6, 230-pound player had five treys.

“Freshman year was a learning experience in so many ways,” said Evans. “We lost so many close games. It is tough losing like that. It made my sophomore year so much more satisfying.”

Evans was named to the Atlantic 10 All-Conference first team as a junior and senior year. As a junior, he was also named the MVP of the conference tournament. He was also on the conference’s all-rookie team as a freshman.

Evans, the son of Dwayne Evans Sr. of Chicago Heights and Janice Evans of Bolingbrook, was named to the Atlantic 10 All-Academic Team as a sophomore, junior and senior.

Jenna Marsalli

Neuqua Valley graduate Jenna Marsalli can attribute becoming a better hitter for the Illinois-Chicago softball team to a number of things.

“My hitting coach (Becky Marx Keogh) helped me so much during the offseason,” said Marsalli, who hit .339 as a senior. “She worked with me quite a bit in the offseason. I also think it was a mental thing. I also wanted to make the most of my senior season.”

In 127 trips to the plate, she had 43 hits (11 doubles, two triples, three homers). She drove home 22 runs, scored 20 times and walked 20 times. Marsalli was named to the Horizon League’s second team after her senior season. She was one of four athletes to hit over .300. She led UIC in doubles and triples.

Marsalli’s senior season lifted her career batting average to .280. The Flames infielder had 152 hits, 95 RBI, 93 runs scored and 79 walks.

“I can’t imagine selecting a better school than UIC,” said Marsalli. “It was the perfect fit for me. I picked a school that was great for me academically, athletically and socially.”

UIC won 23 or more games in three of the last four years during Marsalli’s playing days.

The daughter of Brian and Jill Marsalli of Naperville will earn her degree in business management in December. She was named to the UIC Athletic Director’s Honor Roll.

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