By Joseph Santoliquito
Philadelphia, PA (CBS) — Sometimes it happens. Sometimes there is that special one, the one who excels and reaches that rare plateau, always looks back and never forgets where they came from.
Thankfully, Jahri Evans is one of them. He went to Bloomsburg on an academic scholarship out of Frankford High School, turned football success into a blossoming, All-Pro NFL career with the New Orleans Saints, and for the last seven years has come back to Philadelphia to give back.
This weekend, Evans will hold the 7th Annual Jahri Evans Camp at Frankford High School this Saturday, May 17, beginning at 9 a.m. for the grade school kids and the high schoolers are scheduled to be there at 12-noon.
Evans is expecting to have current Eagles, and former Saints’ teammates, Malcolm Jenkins and Darren Sproles there, and possibly some Saints to come up and with the players there.
The weekend will kick off with a bowling event on Friday, May 16 at Franklin Mills Mall Dave & Buster’s (adults $25/children $15 and the first 100 kids get a free game card).
Evans’ dedication and commitment has seen his camp grow from 60 kids in its first year to over 300 last year. And Evans is very much a part of it.
“I have some teammates come back and help me teach the kids,” said Evans, the 6-foot-4, 320-pound five-time All Pro guard (2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013). “We teach the kids skills and fundamentals that we go over every day at practice. Temple football comes out to work with the younger kids in the morning. For me, it is important to this every year and give back.
“I usually get five or six guys each year to come out. It’s something the kids really enjoy and look forward, and Philly will always be home to me. I consider New Orleans a second home, and they’ve taken me in. The fans in New Orleans are great, the city is great. We’ve had some great teams and won some big games. But my family is still all up here in Philly and I grew up an Eagles fan. Philly is a great sports city and I’m really grateful to Frankford High School.”
The camp, sponsored by the Jahri Evans Foundation, holds a close place to the Saints’ star.
“I just remember growing up and all the people that sacrificed for me, my sisters, all my coaches, I think that’s what coming back and giving is all about,” Evans said. “And I really enjoy working with the kids. They’re competitive with each other. My biggest thrill is that the kids get something out of it, working and seeing how the pros do it.”
Jahri Evans Foundation
Friday, May 16: Bowling Party Franklin Mills Mall Dave & Buster: $25-adults, $15-children, first 100 kids free game card.
Saturday, May 17: Jahri Evans Camp. Grade school children at 9 a.m., high school-aged players at 12-noon at Frankford High School
For more information: www.JahriEvans.com
Joseph Santoliquito is a contributing sports blogger for CBS Philly.