Dickinson Duo named to NSAA men’s basketball All-Conference teams

The Blue Hawks, led by sophomore standouts John Evans and Kose Egbule, defied expectations by making it to the North Star Athletics Associations championship game without any seniors on their roster.

DSU Blue Hawks take a late commanding lead to finish the regular season with a win against the Vikings.
Josiah C. Cuellar / The Dickinson Press

DICKINSON — The Dickinson State University Blue Hawks men's basketball team has defied all odds this season, making a remarkable run to the North Star Athletics Associations (NSAA) championship game with a roster devoid of seniors.

Sophomores John Evans and Kose Egbule played a pivotal role in DSU’s success, with Evans earning First Team All-Conference honors and Egbule receiving honorable mention. In addition, Josiah Haaland was named the Dickinson State Champions of Character recipient, highlighting the team's commitment to sportsmanship and leadership. These underclassmen have proven themselves to be the backbone of the DSU basketball program and are poised to continue their ascent in the coming seasons.

Despite having no seniors on their roster, the team managed to finish with an impressive 9-5 record at the end of the NSAA regular season, thanks to the exceptional leadership and talent of the sophomore duo.

Evans' performances this season have been nothing short of extraordinary, as evidenced by his two-time selection as the NSAA Player of the Week, including in the final edition of the 2022-23 season. In the Blue Hawks' regular-season finale against Valley City State University, Evans put on a masterclass performance, driving Dickinson State to an emphatic 82-52 home victory.

His 28-point haul was remarkable, as he shot an incredible 66.7% from the field, including six of nine from beyond the arc. Evans' ability to rise to the occasion in big games has been a key factor in the Blue Hawks' success this season, and he has established himself as one of the top players in the conference.


In the season, Evans led his team in three point percentage (42.3), points per game (12.7) and rebounds per game (4.8).

When Egbule arrived at Dickinson as a sophomore transfer from Dawson Community College, nobody could have predicted just how much of an impact he would make on the Blue Hawks men's basketball team. Egbule wasted no time in establishing himself as a valuable member of the team, using his incredible athleticism and skill to propel the team forward.

Kose Egbule (2) on the free throw line.
Josiah C. Cuellar / The Dickinson Press

His standout performance of the season came in the NSAA semi-final matchup against Waldorf, where Egbule led the Blue Hawks with 23 points, cementing his place as a key player in the team's success. But it wasn't just his scoring ability that set him apart; Egbule's all-around game was impressive, as he averaged double digits in points (10.2), 4.5 rebounds, and 2.7 assists per game.

What's more, his tenacious defense was instrumental in helping the Blue Hawks to victory, leading the team in steals.

Haaland was more than just a junior post player for the Blue Hawks men's basketball team; he was a leader both on and off the court. With his acute positive nature, Haaland proved to be a formidable force, guiding Dickinson's youthful squad to new heights.

Josiah Haaland (55) returning to the sideline.
Josiah C. Cuellar / The Dickinson Press

Haaland's presence on the court was felt in every game he played in this season, as he provided a steadying influence for his team, consistently making key plays when it mattered most.

And when he was on the court, he was nearly unstoppable, shooting an incredible overall 63% from the field. But it wasn't just his scoring ability that made him an important player for the Blue Hawks; Haaland's leadership and unselfish play were crucial components of the team's success, and his positive impact will be felt for years to come in the DSU basketball program.

In the end, the Blue Hawks men's basketball team's run to the NSAA championship game is a testament to the incredible talent and leadership of its underclassmen. With players like Evans, Egbule and Haaland leading the charge, the team has shown that age is just a number when it comes to success on the court. And with the future looking bright for the DSU basketball program, there's no doubt that these underclassmen will continue to surprise and inspire in the seasons to come.

Josiah C. Cuellar was born in San Angelo, Texas, a small rural community in the western part of the state known for its farming, ranching and beautiful Concho River. A Texas A&M San Antonio graduate specializing in multi-media reporting, Cuellar is an award winning photographer and reporter whose work focuses on community news and sports.
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