FAIRMONT - When Josh Eversman started visiting college campuses last fall, the Fairmont senior three-sport standout didn't initially consider competing in athletics at the next level.
Eversman, however, re-evaluated his options after visiting Morningside College in Sioux City, Iowa.
"I found a school with a good business program, and to have the opportunity to play basketball in a city I like is a huge plus," said Eversman, who signed his national letter of intent on Tuesday at Fairmont High School to hit the hardwood court for the Mustangs next season.
MOVING ON — Fairmont senior forward Josh Eversman (left), shown driving around St. Peter guard Cody Erickson (middle) and Saints forward Tommy Steidler during Class AA state quarterfinal basketball action March 12 at Williams Arena in Minneapolis, signed a national letter of intent on Tuesday to play basketball for Morningside College next season. (Photo by Leanna Becker)
The 6-foot-4 guard-converted-power forward played an integral role in guiding the Cardinals boys basketball program to its first state appearance in 24 years, a fourth-place showing at the Class AA tournament and a single-season record 25 victories.
Now, the two-time Sentinel All-Area and two-time all-South Central Conference hoopster will take his kangaroo-like vertical jump and coast-to-coast gliding drives to Morningside in the fall.
One of the key factors behind Eversman's final decision centered around Morningside assistant men's basketball coach Anthony Elias' recruiting approach.
"He (Elias) made sure that I understood that I was committing to a program where getting a quality education is a priority," said Eversman. "He also was very positive in promoting the school. He told me what Morningside had to offer and wasn't negative toward other schools who were still recruiting me."
Another influential factor for the all-2014 Class AA state basketball tournament selection hinged upon obtaining first-hand knowledge of the college from two important role models in his life.
"Lance Peterson and Mike Laue have been major influences in my life, and both of them went to school there," Eversman said in reference to his employer at Taco John's and a family friend, respectively. "Lance and Mike each thought Morningside would be a good fit for me both academically and athletically."
Indeed. In addition to the college's solid scholastic reputation in the business field, Mustang head coach Jim Sykes' nationally-ranked NAIA basketball program features a style that matches Eversman's end-to-end high-speed skills.
"They (the Mustangs) score the bulk of their points by getting out into the passing lanes and using their running game," said Eversman, who produced 15.8 points per outing to finish second on the Cardinals' statistical charts this winter. "That style of basketball suits me well."
While Eversman pulled down a team-leading 7.1 rebounds per game this season from the frontcourt, Fairmont's No. 2 assists (64) and steals (50) leader in 2013-14 will return to the backcourt at the collegiate level.
"Coach Elias told me that their backcourt players aren't locked in at one position, and each one of them can play all three guard spots if the situation calls for it during a game," said Eversman.
That's the same type of versatility that Eversman has demonstrated throughout his outstanding high school athletic career.
The All-Area and all-SCC wide receiver played a key role in guiding Fairmont to the Class AAA state football quarterfinals last fall, and will look ahead to helping engineer the Cardinals track & field lineup to a True Team and/or Minnesota State High School League state bid(s).
"I'm looking forward to going to school at Morningside. It's a bigger city with a lot to offer, but still has a small-town atmosphere to it," said Eversman. "I think it will feel like a home away from home."