Utah Jazzman Ochai Agbaji visits Evanston

Utah Jazz guard Ochai Agbaji and a small group of local youth take turns shooting baskets. Agbaji was in town on Thursday, Aug. 4, and spent a couple of hours with kids at the Evanston Recreation Center. (HERALD PHOTO/Kayne Pyatt)

EVANSTON — For two hours, from 5-7 p.m., on Thursday, Aug. 3, children at the Evanston Recreation Center were treated to a visit from Utah Jazz player Ochai Agbaji, who came to answer their questions and play basketball with them.

The Jazz group had been traveling to several towns to visit with young people including Soda Spings, Idaho; Jackson; and Kemmerer. Evanston was the group’s last stop before returning to Salt Lake City.

The visiting Jazz group with Agbaji included his girlfriend, Avery Brandmeyer; road manager, Nate Martinez; along with a security guard, a photographer and a social media manager.

Martinez and Agbaji had the young people run laps, do sit-ups and push-ups and then divided them into four groups, according to age, and practiced shooting. At the end of their time together Martinez formed one team and Agbaji headed another and they played a short game of basketball.

Lastly, they had a group photo taken before Agbaji signed autographs and gave each child a photo or Utah Jazz stickers. The children presented shoes, basketballs and some even the shirts off their backs to be autographed by Agbaji.

Agbaji who is from Kansas City, Missouri, and was recruited by the University of Kansas, said, “I love doing this road trip and going to places I’ve never been to. I love meeting the kids and gaining their support for me as a person and for the Utah Jazz. It is wonderful to interact with the kids and hopefully, by being here and playing basketball with them, we have made their day special.”