The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

May 3, 2012

CHC's Evan Belk signs to play basketball at Sterling

By Anvil Welch
Globe Sports Writer

— Evan Belk, who finished with nearly 1,500 career points during four varsity seasons at College Heights Christian School, signed a basketball letter of intent with Sterling (Kan.) College on Thursday.

NAIA Division II Sterling, a member of the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference, is located in central Kansas northwest of Wichita.

“It’s a nice Christian college,” the 6-foot, left-handed Belk, twice a Class 2 all-district selection, said. “I fell in love with everything about it. It felt like home.

“Coach (Dean) Jaderston has done well in his six years as head coach,” Belk said. “They (the) Warriors play a style similar to mine.”

Jaderston guided Sterling to records of 17-14 overall and 12-6 in the KCAC in 2011-12. The Warriors lost to Ottawa in the quarterfinals of the KCAC Postseason Tournament.

Jaderston’s 2010-11 edition reached the NAIA National Tournament at Point Lookout, Mo.

Said College Heights coach Eric Johnson: “Evan is passionate about the game and a leader on our team. He’s very coachable and is able to play several positions very well.

“He’s been told his position at Sterling will be a shooting guard,” Johnson said. “He was a point guard for us, led in assists and saw the floor very well.

“Evan has the physical tools for basketball, but for college he has to gain weight and become stronger,” Johnson said. “Simple maturity will help.

“He also continues to improve by playing in the spring and summer,” Johnson said.

Former Missouri Southern player T.J. Britton, Evan’s off-season Rain Makers coach, and Isaac Edwards, executive director of the Rain Makers, attended the signing ceremony.

Belk agreed that he needs to add weight and strength.

“I know I’ll be a freshman,” Belk said with a grin. “It will be tough competition. I can use the (Sterling) junior varsity program if necessary.”

The Sterling junior varsity finished 14-12 in 2011-12.

Belk, who plans to major in physical education and minor in youth ministry, already has “coaching experience” under his belt. His 13-member CHC second and third-grade team also attended the signing.

Parents Chris and Melissa (formerly Lewis) Belk are graduates of Joplin Parkwood High School.