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Moeller junior Evan Mahaffey enjoys special basketball dynamic within his family

Evan Mahaffey.jpg
Posted at 7:00 AM, Jan 25, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-25 19:00:02-05

SYCAMORE TOWNSHIP, Ohio — Evan Mahaffey wasn't even a year old when North College Hill won its first state boys basketball title in 2005.

But the Moeller High School junior wing enjoys hearing the tales of when his father, Jamie Mahaffey, coached former NCH standouts OJ Mayo and Bill Walker in the national spotlight.

"I didn't realize the magnitude of the players that were going there and all the hype around it," Evan Mahaffey said.

Jamie Mahaffey, who played at Miami University and Roger Bacon High School, coached NCH to three consecutive Division III titles (2005-07).

Mayo and Walker led NCH to a 53-2 record during the first two state championship seasons.

Mayo was the third pick in the 2008 NBA Draft and played in the league until 2016; he is now playing in China.

Walker, later known as Henry Walker, was a second-round pick in 2008. He played in the NBA until 2015. ESPN reported last summer Walker signed with a team in Japan.

"I remember different small things, like just me being in the gym just watching them work out extra and all that stuff," Evan said. "Just hearing the different stories about how they used to come in bringing effort every day. Just doing what pros do basically -- him (Mayo) and Bill (Walker)."

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Former North College Hill coach Jamie Mahaffey (left) cuts down the net with his son Evan after the Trojans won the 2007 Division III state title at the Schottenstein Center in Columbus.

The 16-year-old smiles at those basketball memories that are part of the Mahaffey basketball legacy.

He has a photo on his phone of him and his dad cutting down the net at the Schottenstein Center in 2007.

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A few years later, Walker returned to NCH for a basketball camp and took a photo with Evan.

"It was great growing up with that around me," Evan said.

That basketball foundation helped shape Evan today. Jamie Mahaffey couldn't be prouder of his eldest son for what he has accomplished on and off the court.

Evan, who is 6 feet 7, is one of the state's top players in the 2022 class. He has scholarship offers from West Virginia, Kansas State, Virginia Tech, Xavier, Cincinnati, Miami University and Western Carolina.

"He's always trying to be the best player every week," Jamie Mahaffey said. "He always made his team better. And now it just carries over to this season. He just carries that same mentality of the practice being the game and preparing yourself for the game through practice and developing a relationship with the teammates."

Evan is a versatile player for Moeller, ranked one of the top teams in the state this winter. He can play all five positions, according to Moeller basketball coach Carl Kremer.

"He's really a well-rounded complete basketball player," Kremer said. "And yet I think he's just starting to scratch the surface."

Evan is a wing this season but expanded his game during Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) competition to play point guard.

"I like to think the best part of my game is just being able to do a lot of everything on the court," Evan said. "Being able to rebound, being able to pass the ball -- get my teammates open. And then being able to finish at the rim where maybe I hit a shot when I need to and being able to play lockdown defense is really something I try to pride myself on."

Kremer said Evan's instinct for the game is evident. He believes Evan is growing taller, too.

"He plays like a guard," Kremer said. "His length is really good. As his body gets stronger and he gets stronger with the ball -- that's an area that he can improve in -- I think he's got big-time potential."

That potential extends beyond the court to success in the classroom. Evan is interested in studying business and psychology. He also said his Christian faith is of utmost importance.

"I would tell you that for two years now every teacher has gone out of their way to stop by my office and say, 'Hey, I've got Evan Mahaffey -- what a kid,'" Kremer said.

"That always warms my heart. He's just a great kid."