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Posted 18 Dec 2001   For week ended December 14, 2001
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Sent on Mormon-News: 13Dec01

By Kent Larsen

Before LDS Missions: Teammates; Now: Rivals

OGDEN, UTAH -- Nic Sparrow and Chad Evans were teammates on the '96-'97 Weber High School team that went 21-0 before losing a quarterfinals game in the Utah State 5A playoffs. But Saturday Sparrow and Evans, who have since both served LDS missions, were rivals as Weber State University and Utah State University faced each other for the 51st time. Weber State won the contest 67-64.

For Sparrow and Evans Saturday's game was a chance to remember old times, and play against each other once more. As teenagers, the two friends faced each other in countless one-on-one games as both honed their skills. And both started for one of the all-time best Weber High School teams. "It was a blast," said Sparrow. "We all played together all the way up, all five of us. We always dreamed of taking state. We were right on that path, we put ourselves where we needed to be." But in the end the team that had won so many close games was upset in the quarterfinals of the state tournament, falling short of a state title, "Just thinking back on it, it was a great year," said Evans. "We totally got the community behind us from North Ogden and Pleasant View. It was amazing."

Since that heroic year, Sparrow and Evans have followed different paths. Evans initially played for Loyola Marymount before serving an LDS mission to Argentina. He then transferred to Utah State and spent a season as a redshirt, working to get back into shape.

Sparrow, meanwhile, went to Weber State, where he played in 20 games as a freshman before he also served an LDS mission -- to the Philippines. On his return, Sparrow also redshirted to get back in form, and has this year become one of Weber's top reserves.

But in spite of their different paths, they have managed to meet each other on the court from time to time. "Every once in a while we get together in the summer for a little pick-up game," said Sparrow. "That's when we have a chance to talk and catch up on old times."

And both players were looking forward to Saturday's game "I'm really looking forward to it, I'm looking forward to playing against Chad," said Sparrow. "He's been playing really well for them. He's a good basketball player." And Evans returned the compliment, "I think it's going to be fun," he said. "I know I'm excited to play because Weber State is a good team. We have a lot of respect for what they've done this year."


Teammates once - now eager rivals
Ogden UT Standard-Examiner 8Dec01 S2
By Jim Burton: Standard-Examiner staff
Weber State player now opposes old friend, USU guard


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