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Q&A: Evan Harris on the Five, the Nickel City and life after hoops

Sudbury Five superfan Robert McCarthy chats with Evan Harris, who spent three seasons with the Five, on his retirement from the sport that has dominated much of his life
The Sudbury Five held a special ceremony before the April 14 match against the Los Angeles Ignite to honour the career of big centre Evan Harris, who is retiring at the end of the season. Harris played three of his 14-year pro career in Sudbury.

After three seasons with the Sudbury Five and solid career in pro basketball, Evan Harris is hanging up his sneakers. He sat down recently with Sudbury Five superfan Robert McCarthy to talk about Sudbury, Northern Ontario and life after basketball.

Q: How did you originally hear about Sudbury as a community and the Sudbury Five?

A: I am from Los Angeles, and my wife is from North Bay, a small town in Northern Ontario I had never heard of before. We met each other when I was playing in Portugal, and the connection just organically happened. I played against Logan (Stutz, Sudbury Five head coach and GM) in Germany.  also heard about the team from former Sudbury Five player Joey Puddister, which also opened up a connection. 

Q: How was the first conversation with Logan when you first came to Sudbury?

A: We connected in fall 2020 when COVID restrictions lifted. We talked about our families, and life outside of basketball. We connected in a few kids’ camps at the YMCA when Logan asked me to drive down and help out, and we stayed in touch and when finally there was a season after COVID I joined the team.

Q: Tell me about the impact the community and the fans in Sudbury have had on you. 

A: It’s everything. Sudbury reminds me of the small European towns, people know who you are. I love the support of the community and the team, the community events, etc. The community embraced us. The way the community cares about the game and cares about people. All that stuff together made it a natural fit. They care about you holistically as a person. 

Q: Did the fans in Sudbury lift up your spirits after a particularly tough game when the result wasn’t what you wanted?

A: Absolutely. The fans we had and the dedication that they have is second to none. Hearing and seeing the fans, and it was growing year by year, it definitely brought a smile to my face. The scoreboard doesn’t always reflect the way I want it to. I left it all out there, and getting that support and seeing the same people and 10 new people in the autograph line, definitely helps when the scoreboard doesn’t reflect the way you want it to. 

Q: Do you have any particular special memories of your career before coming to Sudbury?

A: You take little bits and pieces from every single place you’ve been. In European basketball, if you have a team trying to move up a league, they know at the start of the year, this team is trying to move up. We got matched up with one of those teams in the semi-finals of the playoffs one year. The coach drew up a play for me to shoot a three. Our coach said they’ll never expect this, and I banked it in. 

Q: What will you remember most about your three years in Sudbury and playing for the Five?

A: Emotionally, I obviously remember the last regular season home game. The team did something for me before the game, which was a 2 p.m. game, that I didn’t expect. The night before around 11 p.m., Logan said, “this is happening tomorrow”. I appreciated that. I remember beating London at home, and this year, winning those two last games in Kitchener and Windsor, to make the playoffs when we were in a tough spot, that was big. We really came together. Those two things were really memorable. 

Q: Do you have a message to the Sudbury Five, the fans, and the community of Sudbury?

A: Just thank you. The support we, my wife and two kids, felt was amazing. My teammates, the community, support staff, have been amazing. The Five have something special here. I’m not really moving on. I’m a Five fan. I bought a league pass. I’ll be locked in watching. The team is run the right way. I see nothing but success for them in the future. 

Q: What's next for Evan Harris?

A: Next up for me is just spending time with my family. I've been working at CTS Canadian Career College as Director of Education and will continue that while also possibly coaching in Los Angeles.

Super fan Robert McCarthy covers Sudbury Wolves and Sudbury Five games for Got a question for Robert? Email it to [email protected].


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Robert McCarthy

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