April 17, 2002
Evan Burns, a 6-8, 220-pound forward from Fairfax HS in Los Angeles, has signed a National Letter of Intent to attend UCLA and will be a true freshman this fall on the Bruin men's basketball team, UCLA head coach Steve Lavin announced Wednesday.
Burns, a versatile scorer with excellent athletic ability, recently has appeared in two national prep All-Star games. On April 11, he played in the Jordan Brand Capital Classic at the MCI Center in Washington, D.C. and on April 4, he was a member of the West squad at the McDonald's HS All-American game at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Burns will be the seventh McDonald's All-American to sign with UCLA during Lavin's six years as the Bruin head coach. McDonald's All-Americans who have attended UCLA during the Lavin era are ' Evan Burns '02, Cedric Bozeman '01, Jason Kapono '99, Dan Gadzuric, JaRon Rush, Ray Young '98 and Baron Davis '97. As a senior this season, Burns averaged 22.7 points and 10.5 rebounds for coach Harvey Kitani at Fairfax HS. In 2002 Burns led Fairfax to the Los Angeles City Finals (Fairfax lost to eventual CA State Champion Westchester).
Along with his prep All-America acclaim, he was also a third-team Parade All-America selection, Burns this year was nominated for California Mr. Basketball and earned All-State, Los Angeles Times Central City Player of the Year and City Co-Player of the Year (with Westchester's Hassan Adams). Entering his senior year last fall, Burns' preseason honors included ' Street & Smith's third-team All-American and first-team Los Angeles All-Metro, Athlon No. 3 small forward in the U. S., Basketball News' No. 10 Player in the U. S., Hoop Scoop No. 11 Player in the U. S., Lindy's No. 12 Player in the U. S., TheInsiders.com No. 13 Player in the U. S., The Sporting News' No. 14 Player in the U. S. and All Star Report No. 17 Player in the U. S.
As a junior in 2000-01, Burns averaged 23.5 points, 8.3 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 2.1 blocked shots a game. Following his junior campaign, Burns was a two-time All-City honoree and Cal-Hi Sports All-State Underclass selection.
"Evan is a highly skilled player with the necessary versatility to play both inside and outside at the collegiate level," Lavin said. "Recruiting the best players from Southern California will always be a top priority and critical to our program's success. Evan Burns is another tremendous talent in a long list of Los Angeles players who have chosen to stay at home and attend UCLA."
Burns is the third incoming UCLA freshman who has signed a NLI to play men's basketball for the Bruins next season. He will be joining Michael Fey (6-11, 245-pound center from Capital HS in Olympia, WA) and Matt McKinney (6-8, 200-pound forward from Santa Ynez, CA HS who will also be on the Bruin men's volleyball team). Also joining the Bruins, at the conclusion of the 2002 collegiate football campaign, will be incoming freshman Marcedes Lewis. Regarded as the No. 1 prep tight end in the U. S. in 2001, Lewis, a 6-6, 240-pounder from Long Beach, CA Poly HS, averaged 19.0 points and 11.0 rebounds in basketball.
"Our coaches (Bruin assistants Jim Saia, Gerald Madkins and Patrick Sandle) have put together a balanced incoming freshman class," Lavin said. "We work at recruiting as hard as any staff in the country and it's rewarding to see the results with another top class." National prep recruiting expert Clark Francis, founder and editor of Hoop Scoop, also rates Burns as one of the top high school wing players in the U. S.
"Evan Burns is a tremendous talent," Francis said. "He can shoot the three and he played very well last week at the Jordan Brand Capital Classic in Washington, D. C. He's one of the most talented and athletic wing forwards in the U. S. He's a heck of a talent with a tremendous upside."