SBL: Joondalup Wolves lose US import Bobby Evans


Bobby Evans (right) pictured with fellow US import Kevin Davis at the beginning of the season. Picture: Martin Kennealey
Bobby Evans (right) pictured with fellow US import Kevin Davis at the beginning of the season. Picture: Martin Kennealey

DEPARTING Joondalup Wolves US import Bobby Evans has spoken of his decision to cut his time short in the State Basketball League to return home.

Evans emphasised it was mainly to support his partner and newborn son and not connected to the fact he had to sit out a number of games to accommodate the return of Greg Hire.

He had not been able to play on a weekly basis since Hire’s arrival because league rules did not permit the Perth Wildcats vice-captain to share the court with two imports – the other being star centre Kevin Davis.

Evans played 12 of the Wolves 19 games this season.

All three players would have been able to share the court come finals time once Hire had reached his 150-game milestone and become an unrestricted player.

Evans admitted he did not “particularly enjoy” to be sidelined, but accepted it was for the good of the team.

“If you want to be on a team as great as the Wolfpack sacrifices must be made,” he said.

“I was very happy to be teammates with Greg, he is a true professional and somebody I would group with Damo (Matacz), Joel (Questel) and Seb (Salinas) as guys I looked to learn as much as possible from.

“My time playing in Australia was one of the best experiences of my life, I met some amazing people and played for a coach (Ben Ettridge) that I would consider a basketball guru.”

Evans made a handy contribution off the bench averaging 8.8 points and 8.3 rebounds a game.

He would not return to basketball in the US straight away, but said leagues were starting up in September where he would look for opportunities.

Wolves chief executive Cameron Britt said Evans was a high-energy inclusion to the roster.

“All within the Joondalup Wolves program are sad to see him leave our club prematurely, but wish to thank Bobby for his efforts, respecting the difficult decision he has made in returning home to support his young family,” he said.

The Wolves’ battle to reclaim top spot continues this weekend.

Two wins for the Wolves and a loss to number one side Cockburn would have Joondalup return to the peak position they lost two weeks ago after holding it for much of the season.

Joondalup would have to be on the receiving end of two huge thrashings if it is fall below second place after the round.

While two losses in two weeks for the Wolves has tightened the top four, the side’s healthy scoring percentage keeps it in good stead should Willetton (third) or Stirling (fourth) equal Joondalup’s win count by the end of the weekend.

It is, however, highly unlikely the Wolves will lose both games given they face cellar dwellers Kalamunda away on Saturday and ninth-placed East Perth at home on Sunday.

The side missed its opportunity to be on top of the ladder heading into this weekend’s double-header after losing to Stirling 100-91 at Warwick Stadium on Friday.

Star Wolves shooter Trian Iladis hit 33 points as the game’s leading scorer but Joondalup was behind at every break to lose by nine points.

Joondalup recovered to defeat Goldfields 135-98 at Joondalup Basketball Stadium on Saturday.

Rob Huntington led scoring with 23 points, while Kevin Davis fell four assists short of a triple-double in a 22-point, 11-rebound and six-assist effort.

The women’s team remained on top of the ladder after a 76-58 win over Stirling.

Klara Wischer top scored with 23 points.