Akron native Evan Payne has signed a national letter of intent to play basketball on scholarship at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, Calif.
Payne, a 6-foot-2 shooting guard, has attended four high schools in the past three years: Walsh Jesuit, Huntington Prep in West Virginia, Firestone and Kingdom Prep Academy in Georgia.
“We are very excited to have Evan Payne joining the LMU program,” Lions coach Max Good said. “When in Ohio he was considered one of the top-10 recruits from the state and coming out of prep school he was considered one of the top six post-graduate players. And he has earned that praise. We have been very impressed with his overall game.”
Payne was an Associated Press Division II All-Ohio selection as a junior at Walsh and the Northeast Ohio Inland District Player of the Year. He averaged 24.5 points, four rebounds, four assists, three steals and two blocks per game that season, his final at Walsh. He then transferred to Huntington Prep and played basketball part of his senior year, before coming back to Akron and attending Firestone.
While a student at Firestone, Payne qualified for the Division I state track and field meet and finished second in the long jump with a leap of 22 feet, 8.25 inches. His personal best jump for the Falcons was 23-4.
“Evan is a gifted athlete and a natural scorer,” Good said. “He is very good at attacking and a terrific shooter. He can really finish well. He is not just a really gifted athlete, he is a very good basketball player."
Payne set the Walsh single-game basketball record for scoring, twice reaching 37 points.