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Mike Evans '05

Michael Evans '05 Featured on CNN's Young People Who Rock

Evans was four-year member of men's basketball team

Posted January 26, 2009
Tags 2005 Hamilton In the News
Michael Evans '05 is featured on CNN's "Young People Who Rock" in recognition of his efforts in founding Full Court Peace, an organization in Belfast that uses the game of basketball to unite and educate teens. The team is comprised of Catholic and Protestant teenagers.

Evans was a basketball standout at Hamilton, playing in two NCAA tournaments and reaching the Sweet 16 in 2003. After graduation Evans moved to Northern Ireland to work with Playing for Peace (now Peace Players International), a similar basketball-based youth nonprofit. But it involved younger children, 8 to 10 years old, and "at that age it's tough for any kid to understand what's really going on politically," Evans says.

He formed a travel basketball team out of a select group of Catholic and Protestant teenagers. After coaching at two high schools in the city's segregated public school system, Evans recruited an equal number of players from each side of the divided community. After some time, and not without controversy, these two groups came together as one team, which was later named the Belfast Blazers. 

"What sports does is puts them in a small group and forces them to communicate," Evans explains. In the CNN interview he says that there is serious interest in forming Full Court Peace teams in Lebanon and Cuba.

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