The Daily Iowan: You are a born and raised Iowan. What does that mean for you?
Joe Evans: I love this state to be honest. I think this is the largest state in the country. Great place to grow, start a family. Love the four seasons. All in all just great condition.
TUE: which season do you like the most?
Evans: Definitely fall. football season. Absolutely.
TUE: Looks like today’s beginning of winter. What does winter mean to you?
Evans: I think that brings a lot of excitement, especially at home. They start Christmas, Thanksgiving, it’s getting a little exciting. It was definitely fun as we went to practice, garage door open, snow coming down. It’s like being a kid again playing in the garden. So, today was kind of fun.
TUE: What do you like to do in the state?
Evans: I’m kind of a couch potato, to be honest. So, let’s say back in Ames, I would just either stay home or hang out with my family. I mean we watched football all the time and just hung out with friends, went out to eat, little things like that.
TUE: Did you experience anything special in the Des Moines area or elsewhere in Iowa growing up?
Evans: So I moved to Ames when I started fifth grade. So I used to live in Des Moines. But whenever I went to Des Moines as a kid, I always had a couple of Adventureland season tickets with me. I’ll tell you what, that was electric. That was always a fun time. We went there about every weekend. Me and my mom my sister just live it have the time of our lives. But I do, my grandparents live in Des Moines so visit them often. Of course, meet the Jordan Creek every now and then. But other than that, just stay home and meet up with some friends.
TUE: What are your favorite rides at Adventureland?
Evans: That’s a great question. Big fan of The Tornado. When I was a kid, that was my goal. I remember my mom and I once stood in line for three hours just to go on The Tornado. Bless her heart, she’s been on this ride about 10 times. That was my first time. I was so excited. When the log ride was there, it was exciting. Then when they set up the water park, it was one of my favorite parks there when I was a kid.
TUE: Do you often travel out of state or are you just staying here?
Evans: Just stay in Iowa to be honest. I don’t really travel unless I’m playing a game. It really is. I’m really in Iowa most of the time.
TUE: I know you said you don’t travel much. What was your favorite place you’ve traveled to so far?
Evans: Probably Tampa. My dad and I took a little trip there about a year ago. We actually went on a trip, just me and him hanging out. When I was down there I did a little food challenge which was exciting. So, the place was Cookie Munchers, and I told my dad this challenge was cake, right? This is like one of the easiest food challenges ever. As it turned out, it wasn’t. In the end, the thing won, so very competitive. Won that thing so this was probably my favorite spot so far.
TUE: What were the requirements of the challenge?
Evans: I had to eat about 10 cookies in 20 minutes – so hard. Drink half a liter of milk with it. That was hard. But in the end it was done in about 19 minutes. My dad encouraged me so it was a fun evening.
TUE: Have you been to Busch Gardens in Tampa or the beach?
Evans: I did that when we were in the outback [Bowl], but not on this trip with my father. I went to the beach anyway. Me and my dad hung out at the beach most of the time, just sit and relax, look at the sea.
TUE: Any other places in this country you’ve been that you liked?
Evans: I was in California. That was fun. California, Florida, that’s probably it. I’ve been to places in the Midwest, but Iowa is definitely my favorite.
TUE: Do you have any other favorite sports besides football?
Evans: I loved basketball in high school. I’ve always loved that. I had a phenomenal coach. The trainer of his name [Vance] Downs who really helped me become a better person. So, all credit goes to him. But every time I got to play basketball, I always had a great time. Well, I’d say basketball and football in high school were like 50-50.
TUE: What was your position?
Evans: Like a stretch forward, maybe shoot a bit.
TUE: What were your greatest attributes on the pitch?
Evans: I was actually pretty decent in the post. Then I would really locate and shoot the three of them. But decent on defense, just a gritty player.
TUE: Are you looking at the men’s or women’s teams here?
Evans: I do whenever I can. When our season is over I’ll go over and watch a few games. You’re looking really good this year and I’m really happy about it, just for university. It’s always great to have great sports teams at the university and I’m excited to see what they can do in March.
TUE: Do you follow the NBA?
Evans: I’m a big LeBron fan. Dear Lebron James. So, I think he’s the GOAT. I get a lot of people asking me about it. I’ve always been a Lebron fan since I was a kid. So I just follow him. So I’ve been a Cleveland fan for a while, heat, back to the Cavs and the Lakers.
TUE: Have you seen him in person yet?
Evans: No I haven’t. I haven’t seen Lebron in person yet, but hopefully I’ll meet him one day. That would be pretty cool. Definitely the #1 person on my list to meet, so maybe one day.
TUE: what do you like about him
Evans: That’s actually a great question. I mean, everything on the court, of course, but I think he does so many great things off the court. How he started the I Promise School, everything. I’ve just followed his career since I was a kid. I mean, my brother has always been a huge LeBron fan, so I just grew up with it.
TUE: Have you ever been to an NBA game in person?
Evans: I went to one. I went to Bucks-Magic while we were at the Citrus Bowl. So it was fun going there.
This interview has been edited slightly for length and clarity.