The South Dakota Sports Hall of Fame is dedicated to the preservation, documentation and display of South Dakota's sports history.

Gary Evjen - Inducted 2022

Considered one of the greatest, if not the best, basketball players in Northern State University and South Dakota collegiate history, Gary Evjen was the first South Dakota collegian to collect more than 2,000 points and 1,000 rebounds during his career. He graduated from Sioux Falls Washington in 1968 and Northern State College in 1972.

Evjen was a four-time all-conference, three-time all-district and two-time All-American. He graduated with the state college scoring (2,288 points) and rebounding (1,206) records with career averages of 21.4 ppg and 11.3 rpg despite facing numerous specialty defenses throughout his career designed to stop him. He was a 54 percent field goal shooter and an 81 percent free throw shooter. He led the Wolves to two conference titles and two national tournament appearances, averaging 30 ppg during the tournament. His records continue to stand up, 50 years later, at a college steeped in basketball tradition.

Evjen worked hard to carve his eventual 6’ 8” frame into that of an athlete. After not making his eighth-grade basketball team, he developed himself into an all-state center for Sioux Falls Washington who averaged 15 points and 14 rebounds per game for the Warriors as a senior. He became a 31-year teacher/coach and administrator who coached the Sisseton boys to the 1988 State A basketball championship game, losing to Vermillion. Other schools he worked at included Java, Northwestern in Mellette, Sturgis, Tri-Valley, Lennox and Joe Foss Alternative High School in Sioux Falls.

This is Evjen’s sixth hall of fame. The others included the South Dakota Intercollegiate Conference, NSU, SFW, SD Basketball, and SD Amateur Basketball. Evjen has master’s degrees from the University of North Dakota and South Dakota State University. He and his wife, Rosemary, live in Sioux Falls and have five children and 11 grandchildren.

« Back to Athletes