Norman North's Evan Eshelman: Driven Athlete of the Month – Presented by Landers Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram of Norman

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By Derrick Smith

There are many things that are required in order to be a successful student-athlete. Talent, heart, work ethic, and perseverance are just a few. And Norman North senior Evan Eshelman is no stranger to perseverance.

“I have had several setbacks over the years, but looking back, I am thankful for them,” he said. “They have taught me to persevere and I am definitely stronger because of them. I have a rare, genetic hand condition that makes my hands move in mirrored movements. You probably wouldn’t notice unless you knew, but it has definitely made basketball harder. I also battled five fractures in the course of 18-months in late middle school/early high school. I was hard fouled during a game in 8th grade. My legs were taken out from under me and my face hit the floor. I had a severe concussion, stitches and broke the bones surrounding my eye. I lost my starting spot and had to battle to earn in back. As a freshman, I was attending a basketball camp over fall break and I fractured my patella. Once again, I lost my starting spot and spent the rest of the season trying to earn it back. A few months later, at AAU practice, I fractured my hand and had to have surgery. I missed out on the entire season of summer ball.”

Eshelman, who plays shooting guard and small forward for the Timberwolves basketball team, has played competitive basketball since the fifth grade. He says that even with all the setbacks, he loves the game of basketball and that is one reason why he keeps playing.

Evan Eshelman

“There are a lot of factors that keep me playing basketball. First, I love the game. I love to watch it and I love to play it even more. Second, I’ve developed friendships with the guys on the team that are really important to me. Our senior group has been through a lot together over the years and those things have really bonded us.

There have been many people that have impacted Evan’s life throughout the years.

“My parents, Ryan & Libby Eshelman, are some of my biggest influences and role models,” he said. “But also the youth group leaders at Wildwood Community Church, where I attend. Both the leaders and my parents keep me humble, encourage me to keep working hard and remind me regularly that in the highs and lows, God is in control.”

Evan says that in order to be successful on the court, you have to have to give up some things that most kids do not.

“It takes a lot of work to be successful in basketball,” he said. “My school load and basketball have required me to sacrifice things most high schoolers take for granted like video games, nights with friends, and often sleep.”

Off the court, Eshelman is involved with SPUDS (Students Performing Unselfish Deeds), National Honor Society, Young Republicans, Christians on Campus, and GEMS (Guys/Girls interested in Engineering, Math, and Science). He also carries a 4.2 GPA, scored a 35 on the ACT, and is a National Merit Semifinalist.

If that is not enough, he has also run a lawn mowing business for the past six years.

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