The big men of Ludington boys basketball needed someone to help to distribute the ball and call attention away from them.
Mike Evans proved to be one of those great guards that not only kept Ludington at the forefront of the game in the state, but individually proved to not only be one of the Orioles’ greatest but also Mason County’s.
Saturday, Evans will be inducted into the Mason County Sports Hall of Fame with the fellow 18th class. Also being inducted are Bob Cameron, Christy Christmas, Al Hardman, Jill (Treml) Stickney and Lyford Young.
The 18th Mason County Sports Hall of Fame’s unveiling ceremony is at noon, Saturday, at Historic White Pine Village. Later Saturday evening, a sold-out banquet will be hosted at Lincoln Hills Golf Club.
The 2022 induction class is the first since the 2019 class to join together at ceremonies hosted by the half of fame.
The 16th induction class was unable to participate in the ceremonies because of the COVID-19 pandemic. That class included Robert Ayers, Annie (Tewel) Sadosty, Kelly Smith, Dave Killips, Adam Johnson and the 2007 Mason County Central volleyball team that was the MHSAA Class B state runner-up.
The 17th induction class was 1921 Ludington Mariners professional minor league baseball team. The 2021 planned induction marked the 100th anniversary of the team’s Central League championship.
Evans, in his junior and senior seasons, earned all-North Central Conference honors. In his senior year, 1963, Evans and the Orioles won their second straight league championship. Evans and the Orioles also advanced to the regional finals before falling to Whitehall.
For his play, Evans was named to the Detroit Free Press’ All-State team. He averaged 18.4 points per game that season, and he sank 81 percent of his free throws. Evans finished with 643 points for his career in Ludington, 369 in his senior year. When he graduated, he was sixth-best on the school’s all-time scoring list.
During his junior year, 1961-62, Evans and the Orioles won the regional title. The 1962 team dropped its state semifinal contest to East Grand Rapids.
Evans went on to a basketball career in what is now known as Northwood University in 1963-64. The Timberwolves’ program only began in 1960-61, according to Northwood’s records, and Evans was a part of the program’s first winning season in 1963-64 with a 13-7 record.
Evans lettered for two seasons, 1965-66 and 1966-67, and the ’65-66 squad owned a 14-8 record. He started for three seasons for the Timberwolves.
At one point, he was one of Northwood’s leading scorers, according to a clipping of the Daily News from Jan. 27, 1967. In 11 games, he averaged 16.8 points per game and was third-best for the Timberwolves. He had 30 points in Northwood’s victory against Rio Grande of Ohio. He averaged 14.9 points per game in 1965-66, and he was the team’s top free throw shooter 47-for-56 for .839 percent.