Athlete Spotlight: SVCA boys’ basketball player Evan Hotek
Posted: December 4, 2012
Shenandoah Valley Christian Academy 16-year-old junior
Position: Point guard
Parents: Dan and Lori Hotek
Hometown: Front Royal
Nickname: A lot of people just shorten my name and call me “Ev.”
When did you start playing basketball: I first started playing when I was 7 for the Front Royal Flames. I came from a family of nine (siblings, Hotek is seventh in order) and sports has always been in our nature, and everyone played basketball. I was just next in line watching everyone else play basketball, and I just couldn’t wait to get in there like my siblings.
What you love about basketball: Just the feeling when you get in the game, and you have all kinds of opportunities, but you just need to get your head clear and stay in the zone, make the right plays, and not let the crowd affect you at all. You just need to focus on the goal of winning.
Biggest strength and weakness in basketball: [Strength], I think bringing a team together. I’ve played AAU all my life. I’m not the best player, I’m not the quickest player. But I like to get everyone on the same page, run the coach’s play, and get everybody in a rhythm and get everybody to work together.
[Weakness], both of my AAU coaches nailed it. (Hotek playes for Virginia Elite in Chantilly.) Sometimes I’ll just have tunnel vision. You see the basket and you just go, and that’s a habit I’m trying to work out of.
Sport you always wanted to try: From an early age, my dad always told me stories about playing football, so I always wanted to play football. But my mom would never let me play because I had surgery when I was younger — I have a big scar [running across the top of my stomach].
Most memorable moment in basketball: I’d say the most memorable was in JV, in eighth grade [with the Front Royal Flames]. I scored 37 points against a [the Richmond Spirit]. I just remember getting the ball and breaking double-teams. It’s not like I was hitting tons of 3-pointers. I was just making plays, and every time I got the ball, I just knew how to get to the basket.
Most embarrassing moment in basketball: My first game ever in fifth grade. We played a team up in Maryland, and we’re playing a team with sixth- and seventh-graders who had a bunch of guys who were 5-10, 6-0, and we lost 64-4. But I think game drove me. At that point I was averaging one point a game, so that summer I just practiced three hours a day and averaged 20 points the next year.
Favorite athlete: [L.A. Lakers] guard Kobe Bryant. He’s never satisfied with what he is. He’s always looking in some way to get better. It doesn’t matter if he won the championship, it’s game time, he’s going to go out there and win any way it takes.
Favorite sports team:Los Angeles Lakers
Three people you can have dinner with, dead or alive: My grandfather [Edsall Hotek], we shared the same birthday and I was close to him; Abraham Lincoln; and [N.Y. Jets quarterback] Tim Tebow.
Favorite Quote: “Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.” I’m not the most athletic guy, but I know if I work hard I can still beat [my opponent].
Favorite subject in school: I’d go with Bible and Algebra. I get better grades in Bible, but I mike math because there’s always a way to find the answer.
Pregame routine/ritual: Usually before the games I just go into the locker room and get one of two balls and just dribble for about 10, 15 minutes to keep my hands warm. I just concentrate, and then I go out and take the shots I’m going to take in the game. Just find my spots and take those shots.
Plans after high school: I’d like to college and play basketball, but for my major I’d like to go with business or do something with sports.
— Compiled by Robert Niedzwiecki