Evina Westbrook Signs Her Letter of Intent
Evina Westbrook, a senior at South Salem High School, has been sought after by many colleges in her basketball career. Westbrook has been keeping her final decision on her future university a secret. On Nov. 10, she announced that she will be attending University of Tennessee in the fall of 2017. Westbrook made the announcement in The Hoop facility at 4 p.m. in Salem, Oregon. She had her parents, James and Emma Westbrook, at her side, along with her little brother TKO and a surprise appearance from her older brother, LJ, and his basketball teammates from Prairie View A&M University.
Many coaches stood and spoke about the kind of athlete and human being Evina is.
“As a coach, you get to see a lot of talent. But you rarely get the opportunity to coach integrity, character, passion, love,” Michael Abraham, one of her former club coaches, said.
That has been shown in Westbrook’s many achievements throughout her basketball career. Westbrook was the Gatorade Oregon player of the year in 2015 and was awarded All Conference and All State tournament player for her 2015-16 season, winning two consecutive women’s basketball state championships with the South Salem Saxons. She credits her successes to her desire to be different; “Wanting to be different has lead me and driven me to becoming the best,” Westbrook said on Thursday afternoon. She has also been selected as ESPN’s #1 high school female basketball player of the year.
“You’re always improving if you’re number one, there’s always a way to get better,” Westbrook said.
Westbrook’s impact on the community, her classmates, and other athletes was apparent in the number of people that filled the chairs and bleachers at The Hoop. State Representative Jody Hack came to say a few words about Westbrook. Hack had been watching Evina play since she was a young girl, playing and beating boys in the gym.
“She’s an inspiration to young women and young athletes,” Hack said.
Westbrook thanked everyone in the gym for coming to support her, the Johnson family who own The Hoop, all of her coaches, her teachers, her tutor, South Salem High School, and all of the girls that look up to her. She ended with a special thank you to her brothers, and spoke about her parents individual roles in her life. At the very end, Westbrook then unzipped her jacket to reveal a University of Tennessee shirt underneath.