Evart senior set to lead Wildcats to successful basketball season

EVART — He’s coming off an all-state boys football season and Evart senior Jacob Hopkins wouldn’t mind having even more success for the Wildcats during basketball season.

The Wildcats were scheduled to tip off the season Tuesday at home against Farwell and will play Thursday at Boyne City.

Hopkins came up halfway during his sophomore season for the varsity and last season had a full winter of experience.

“I had a better jump shot last year,” he said, pointing to 16-footers as usually his shot of preference. “I just practiced a lot before and after practice. It was form, mainly. I had my elbow out before.”

It was also a matter of making sure the shot was taken at the right spot at the right time.

“We had a lot of designed plays,” Hopkins said. “There was a lot of cutting back and forth.”

The Wildcats were 7-13 last winter.

“It was an OK season,” Hopkins said. “We’re hoping to do better this year.”

The Wildcats have 10 seniors, including Hopkins, on the team plus two juniors.

“We’ll have a lot of speed,” Hopkins said. “We’re going to be able to press a lot of teams and fast break.”

Hopkins will usually be a small forward with the main roles of scoring and rebounding.

“We only have two tall guys but we have a lot of speed,” Hopkins said. “We’ll sneak in and get a lot of rebounds.”

In football, Hopkins was a master at running pass patterns. On the basketball court, he’s not afraid to drive with the ball to the basket. He wants to improve on his defense.

Hopkins is confident the Wildcats can be a force in the Highland Conference.

“I think we can run with all of them,” he said. “Beal has some three-point shooters, Pine River runs a lot.”