The death of the 6-7 Harlem baller — who made a name for himself on the popular AND1 Mixtape Tour during the late 1990s and early 2000s — came as a shock to everyone who knew him. The Los Angeles Lakers’ Kobe Bryant sent a pair of autographed sneakers, which will be on display at Evans’ funeral. Bryant’s former teammate Shaquille O’Neal also remembered Evans during a recent broadcast of “Inside the NBA.” “He was 6-7. He could handle the rock. He could shoot. He actually had the whole package, and he should have been in the league,” the longtime pro and current TNT analyst said of Evans. “Rest in peace, Alimoe. Love you, brother.” Evans’ niece, Duanecia Evans, 23, told The News that her uncle had been battling diabetes and recently suffered seizures that sent him to the hospital. On Feb. 25, he had another seizure at his mother’s Harlem home, she added, and that proved the fatal blow. “He truly put people first,” the niece said, noting that he spent much of his time hosting basketball clinics and speaking to kids. “He wanted the little boys in Harlem to know that regardless of where they came from, they can make it.” She said her uncle, who grew up on W. 140th St., was always proud to carry the banner for his home base. “For him, Harlem was everything.” Greg Marius, founder of the Entertainers Basketball Classic at Holcombe Rucker Park, said the loss was as big as Evans’ presence on the court. “I remember when Shaq came to a game, just to watch him,” said Marius, who is to speak at the funeral. “Everybody knew the boy had the talent to play, and should have been in the [NBA].” Marius said he’ll remember Evans most for his unique ability to handle the basketball. “Alimoe had a handle like a 5-9 guard,” he said. Another noted streetball connoisseur, Bobbito Garcia, recalled playing against Evans and his team in what was a crushing loss. While Evans never made it to the NBA, Garcia said he did play semipro for the Harlem Strong Dogs of the ABA. “Alimoe loved playing ball. . . He’s an absolute playground legend.” Services for Evans are scheduled for Tuesday at the United House of Prayer for All People, 2320 Frederick Douglass Blvd. The viewing is from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., with the funeral to follow.
Posted on: Sat, 28 Sep 2013 16:13:04 +0000
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