African American Studies
Howie Evans is a sportswriter and basketball coach who grew up in the Bronx. As a resident of the borough, he has witnessed the effects of racially-based communities. However, his story also depicts the role that basketball has played in the Bronx African-American community.
During his childhood, Evans lived in the Hunts Point neighborhood in buildings where his father served as a superintended. In the early years of his life, Evans said that he played on a regular basis with white children; however, these interracial friendships often broke down by the time he reached adolescence. Additionally, he also said that much of his neighborhood was dominated by gangs, which held enough power as to restrict who could sit in different parts of movie theaters and often made it unsafe for people to attend school.
Evans credits a community center leader by the name of Vincent Tibbs for steering him away from gang life and towards basketball. Evans was good enough at the sport that he almost got into NYU on a basketball scholarship; however, he ultimately attended Maryland Eastern Shore after the NYU offer was rescinded for what he believes were race-based reasons. While in college, Evans got a job working for a Baltimore newspaper, which ultimately led him to a career as a sportswriter. Outside of journalism, Evans has acted as a basketball coach at various schools and community centers. During his interview, he related a story of how he led an asthmatic student to take up the sport of basketball as an example of the role that the sport could play in people’s lives.
Evans, Howie. Interview with the Bronx African American History Project. BAAHP Digital Archive at Fordham University.
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