Last Friday, I had a chance, thanks to Vision Service Plan (VSP) and our editor Bryan Rose, to catch up with former Sacramento Kings guard Tyreke Evans at his third annual free basketball camp sponsored by VSP Vision Care at the Hardwood Palace in Rocklin. Tyreke took time out with A Royal Pain to reflect on his time with the Kings and his thoughts on Sacramento and its fans, while looking forward to a new chapter in his career beginning this fall in New Orleans as he will suit up for the Pelicans. Evans also spoke about the importance of the basketball camp and what it meant for him and the kids receiving free eye exams and glasses for their participation.
On the importance of doing the camp and healthy vision:
Showing my face to the kids means a lot, any chance I get to do something like this, I’m always willing to do it… It’s (vision) a big part of sports…everybody should have their eyes checked at least once a year just to make sure nothing is wrong… it’s funny cause a lot of the kids that come into the camps when they get their eyes checked, they don’t even really know they need glasses until they come here. For me I know its important for my vision on the court.”
On moving on to New Orleans:
I’m very excited, the New Orleans Pelicans are excited about having me, went to the press conference, met coach and GM and they showed me around…I was excited to be there.”
On where his even-keeled personality came from:
I don’t really know. I always stay cool, keep my calm and never really complain, you know, just be professional. Always came to work…you know (I) came from a tough city, so you can’t really complain when you’re at this point.”
On Kings fans and their appreciation for him
It’s been the best… Since I’ve been here they’ve been showing a lot of support from day 1 when I got to Sacramento off the plane. I just wanna thank the fans for coming to support me at the games. Definitely great fans.”
The time I spent at the camp and around the people really showed how much they appreciated Tyreke Evans and what he gave back to the Sacramento region in his four years there. He took time to get involved with all the kids, answering all questions (including one on why he got traded!), participating in the camp, and interacting with all the parents and fans. VSP, using its 45 foot long mobile clinic, was able to also provide free eye exams and glasses to over 150 camp participants and family members who qualified from the Treat ‘em Like a King (TLK) Foundation as well as other local community organizations.
Talking with some VSP staff, they remarked about how instrumental Evans has been in emphasizing the importance of vision at a healthy age and remarked on what a class act he has always been with his time for the kids as well as parents. Despite all the craziness of having to move on to a new city and team, Tyreke still managed to make a difference in the lives of young kids and their families. He is most certainly a stand-up guy and has always been gracious and humble in his time in Sacramento. He will be missed most certainly not only as a player but more importantly as a person.
You can watch video of the camp with the interview in the background below or just listen to the audio (link at the very bottom). Many thanks to Tyreke Evans, VSP Vision Care, TLK Foundation and Bryan Rose for the opportunity.
Tags: A Royal Pain Basketball Chester Dell Demps Free Basketball Camp Jrue Holiday Kings Kings All Day Long Live The Kings Monty Williams NBA New Orleans Pelicans PA Pelicans Sacramento Sacramento Kings Summer League TLK Foundation Tyreke Evans Vision Service Plan VSP VSP Vision Care