Imagine being at dinner with your parents and coming across the news that the NBA was suspending its season for the unforeseeable future.
Actually, that may be the case for a lot of you, but for someone directly impacted by what was about to unfold over the course of the next 24 hours within the sports world – that particular news hit a little different than most. We’re talking about forward Shawn Evans, who is currently in the middle of his 15th season in the NLL and was the Rochester Knighthawks’ first overall pick in the 2019 NLL Expansion Draft.
“It still feels so surreal that this is all happening right now. It’s crazy, you watch movies where stuff like this happens and you don’t think that we would ever be a part of it. But here we are locking ourselves in our houses and trying to stay away from it,” said Evans.
Three days prior to the suspension of the NLL back on March 12, the Knighthawks had just returned to Rochester after a weekend full of back-to-back action on the west coast. As they were looking to take on the Halifax Thunderbirds that upcoming weekend, little did they know that divisional face-off would be put on pause for the unforeseeable future.
Fast forward and now we’re over three weeks into a world without sports and it seems that most athletes are adjusting their time accordingly for the time being. For Evans, he’s staying busy with four kids to look after while still trying to make time for himself to stay in shape with lunch time runs and lifts with what he can find around the house.
What’s most important for the Knighthawks forward during this time period, though, is being able to make time for the little things that he didn’t realize he was missing out on while on the road with lacrosse.
“What I take from being home and being with my kids – it’s things that you take for granted from being on the road a lot. Sitting down and doing schoolwork with them, making them dinner and breakfast on the weekends. It’s little things that you don’t always do, but now I’m finding time to do them.”
Despite missing the last two games due to injury, Evans still remains among the team’s top three point-getters with 43 points on 14 goals and 29 assists in addition to a team-high 31 penalty minutes. Prior to his injury, the two-time NLL MVP was recording nearly five points-per-game while also averaging nearly 14 shots.
Sounds like a season he’d surely be missing, right? Well, here is Evans’ take on it.
“I’m missing the compete, the will to win, seeing my teammates. I want to get back to the grind of what I do, what I’m good at and competing with my teammates that are going to fight for something that leads to that overall end goal.”
As always, we continue to promise you that all of the Knighthawks players are more than looking forward to hitting the floor again as soon as possible. Until then, though, we know that Evans isn’t the only one missing lacrosse here in Rochester as the Knighthawks inaugural season remains at a standstill until further notice.
From Evans to the Flower City, he’ll leave you all with this message during this unprecedented time period.
“We miss our fans and we just need to wait, see what happens, stay safe and be positive for the time being. We can’t wait to get back in Rochester, back in front of you guys and back to competing.”