It was a season for the ages for Evans guard Christian Chambers.
The senior led the Knights to a 22-7 record, the program’s first region title and an appearance in the Georgia High School Association class 6A Elite Eight. For his performance, Chambers has been named The Augusta Chronicle’s area Georgia boys basketball player of the year.
The 2019-2020 Evans basketball season will go down as one of the best in program history. Considering that success came off a heartbreaking loss in last year’s region title game, Chambers said it was that much better.
“What was special to me was that most of our players were here last year to feel how we lost in the region championship to Greenbrier,” he said. “It was special to get back in the same position, but complete the job this time with basically the same group.”
Chambers averaged 22.6 points and 6.4 rebounds per game and was named player of the year honors for Region 3-AAAAAA. He was named first team All-State by the Georgia Athletic Coaches Association and HoopSeen, along with a second-team nod from high school basketball blogger Kyle Sandy.
“Great kid, great family and what you don’t see during the basketball games is the work he’s put in off the court,” Evans head coach Kevin Kenny said. “Grades, workouts and everything else, he’s just a quality kid. It sounds kind of cliche, but he’s a quality kid.”
Chambers plays with ice water running through his veins. Going back to January, he nailed two free throws at the end of a 61-59 win over Grovetown. He took control in the region tournament, scoring 31 points against Heritage in the semifinal and 28 against Lakeside in the championship game. To those around the program, this came as no surprise.
“He’s been a clutch performer with the basketball and he’s been that way since the 10th grade,” Kenny said. “I mean, I can remember region playoffs we’re down one with a second left and he misses his free throws, we go home. He knocked them both down and we win the game and go to the state playoffs his 10th grade year. At the end of the day, he’s a scorer.”
Chambers is committed to play basketball at Columbus State University. Playing close to home in a competitive Peach Belt Conference isn’t lost on him, he said it was the perfect fit because Columbus State showed interest in him early and never waivered.
“Just the honesty throughout the whole process,” he said. “They first offered me after I went to a camp and ever since then they’ve been showing me love. When I went down there on a visit, it just felt like it was meant to be. When I went to the campus, I just knew I wanted to be there.”
Anybody that follows Evans basketball on social media is probably familiar with Michael and Kristy Chambers. Christian’s parents are his most vocal supporters and biggest fans. What may surprise some is that their support shows up just as much on the court as it does off.
“They’ve been big. They’ll do anything for me,” he said. “It doesn’t matter how much an AAU team costs, they’ll get up at 6 a.m. before school and help me with my rebounds. They’ve really been my trainers my whole life, I never really had a trainer. It’s just been them helping me with whatever I need to work on.”
When it comes to preparing young men for college athletics, few in the area have done it more than Kenny. Chambers made it clear that starting for three years under Kenny has given him the proper mindset as he heads from Evans to Columbus.
“The way coach Kenny coached me, he doesn’t ever let up on me. If I can survive coach Kenny’s coaching, I’m pretty sure I can survive anybody’s coaching,” he said, smiling, as he glanced over at Kenny. “That’s the biggest thing I’ll take and remember throughout my basketball career.”