WKU basketball manager Evan Stack dresses for Hilltoppers, receives praise on social media

WKU team manager Evan Stack joins his team for a timeout during the Charlotte vs. WKU men’s basketball game on Feb 22, 2020, in Diddle Arena. Stack was dressed in a uniform for the game to honor his work as their manager. The Hilltoppers were defeated 72-70.

Elliott Wells & Drake Kizer

The WKU men’s basketball team (18-9, 11-4 C-USA) has 13 players listed on its official 2019-20 roster, but the Hilltoppers actually had 14 players sitting on their bench during the team’s Conference USA Bonus Play opener against the Charlotte 49ers in Diddle Arena on Saturday night.

Senior Evan Stack, a men’s basketball manager from Louisville, was dressed out in full uniform for WKU as a token of appreciation for all the work he’s done for the Hilltopper program during his time on the Hill, according to a tweet posted by the WKU men’s basketball team on Saturday afternoon.

{{tncms-inline account=”WKU Hilltopper Basketball” html=”<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">We’ve got a new player in uniform tonight! Our senior manager <a href="https://twitter.com/Evan_Stack1?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Evan_Stack1</a> does so much for this program and is dressing tonight!<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/GoTops?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#GoTops</a> <a href="https://t.co/R6TC4dkMc9">pic.twitter.com/R6TC4dkMc9</a></p>— WKU Hilltopper Basketball (@WKUBasketball) <a href="https://twitter.com/WKUBasketball/status/1231310950948425728?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">February 22, 2020</a></blockquote>” id=”https://twitter.com/WKUBasketball/status/1231310950948425728″ type=”twitter”}}

Head coach Rick Stansbury said he allowed Stack to become a full-fledged member of the team because Stack possesses basketball prowess in addition to his managerial skills.

“Well, Evan, he’s a guy that’s a manager, and I let him practice with us,” Stansbury said postgame. “But he’s able to be a basketball player. He plays and practices with us every day. So, I decided to let him dress these last few games.”

When asked what Stack means to the program, Stansbury said Stack and all of the other managers who assist the men’s basketball team on a day-to-day basis are valuable assets to the program.

“Evan is great,” Stansbury said. “All of our managers are great. I’ve always said a good manager is just as valuable as a good point guard. We’re blessed to have great managers. Jacob [Hayslip] and Cole [Mattingly], those senior guys, they’re great.”

Stack was not made available to the Herald, but Stack and fellow men’s basketball manager Jacob Hayslip appeared on Red Towel Radio, a weekly broadcast on 102.7 in Bowling Green, on Feb. 13.

Stack said his desire to become a basketball manager stemmed from wanting to play himself. He eventually decided playing wasn’t in the plans, so he started pursuing a different role.

“I got cut in high school,” Stack said. “They asked if I wanted to [become a manager] in high school. At first, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to do it because I wanted to play. I wanted to stay around the game because I don’t really do a ton outside of basketball and that’s all I’ve ever known. So, I kind of stuck with it, and the first couple of years of high school, I was kind of a little shaky about it.”

“By the time I became a junior, I was embracing it and I had fun,” Stack continued. “Then, I got to thinking, I really want to do this in college, and fortunately I was able to do it.”

The WKU men’s basketball managers frequently play games against basketball managers from other schools, and Hayslip said Stack would be a first-team all-star selection if such an honor existed for manager games because Stack “probably averages 25 to 30 points a game.”

“I’ll give you a quick scouting report on Evan Stack,” Hayslip said. “If you give him an inch of space on the perimeter, he’s putting a three in your eye. If you play the three, he’s driving right past you and laying it up. So, he’s just a hard guy to stop on offense, and he’s quick and long on defense. He gets a lot of steals and rebounds. He’s a menace out there.”

The basketball program at Louisville Male High School, Stack’s alma mater, tweeted its support. Keith Cathey II, dean of students and president of basketball operations at Male, also posted about Stack.

{{tncms-inline account=”Keith Cathey, II” html=”<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Love this young man!! Love his energy and WORK ETHIC!! I take great pride in finding leaders who can help develop a program, and I knew <a href="https://twitter.com/Evan_Stack1?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Evan_Stack1</a> was different the moment I met him!! Keep shining and setting an example for our next generation <a href="https://twitter.com/bhatia_lucas?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@bhatia_lucas</a> 🙌🏾 <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ForTheH?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#ForTheH</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/LevelUp?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#LevelUp</a></p>— Keith Cathey, II (@MrCathey21) <a href="https://twitter.com/MrCathey21/status/1231379337078886400?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">February 23, 2020</a></blockquote>” id=”https://twitter.com/MrCathey21/status/1231379337078886400″ type=”twitter”}}

Current and former faces from around the Hill — including players, coaches and administrators representing several different WKU athletic programs — also authored social media posts that culminated in a tidal wave of support for Stack’s once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

{{tncms-inline account=”Marek Nelson” html=”<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Now this is something I can get behind <a href="https://twitter.com/Evan_Stack1?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Evan_Stack1</a> CHILL OUT STACKS😈</p>— Marek Nelson (@MadeinPLNO) <a href="https://twitter.com/MadeinPLNO/status/1231336984754425858?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">February 22, 2020</a></blockquote>” id=”https://twitter.com/MadeinPLNO/status/1231336984754425858″ type=”twitter”}}

{{tncms-inline account=”Marc Hsu” html=”<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">My guy <a href="https://twitter.com/Evan_Stack1?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Evan_Stack1</a> ! Although, he may have cheated during some 2 on 2 action! Bright future <a href="https://t.co/qP00KmTO7x">https://t.co/qP00KmTO7x</a></p>— Marc Hsu (@MarcHsu21) <a href="https://twitter.com/MarcHsu21/status/1231346437985898497?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">February 22, 2020</a></blockquote>” id=”https://twitter.com/MarcHsu21/status/1231346437985898497″ type=”twitter”}}

{{tncms-inline account=”Jacob Hayslip” html=”<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Nobody in the country works harder or is more deserving! So proud of you brother‼️🖤🤞🏼 <a href="https://twitter.com/Evan_Stack1?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Evan_Stack1</a> <a href="https://t.co/2jTg1d686K">https://t.co/2jTg1d686K</a></p>— Jacob Hayslip (@J_Hayslip96) <a href="https://twitter.com/J_Hayslip96/status/1231317966186217478?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">February 22, 2020</a></blockquote>” id=”https://twitter.com/J_Hayslip96/status/1231317966186217478″ type=”twitter”}}

{{tncms-inline account=”Canon Jackson” html=”<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">YEA E STACK ‼️🖤 <a href="https://twitter.com/Evan_Stack1?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Evan_Stack1</a> <a href="https://t.co/wGhFzbalHv">https://t.co/wGhFzbalHv</a></p>— Canon Jackson (@Canon_Jackson7) <a href="https://twitter.com/Canon_Jackson7/status/1231322262533558274?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">February 22, 2020</a></blockquote>” id=”https://twitter.com/Canon_Jackson7/status/1231322262533558274″ type=”twitter”}}

{{tncms-inline account=”Zach Greenwell” html=”<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">My guy Ev is so deserving of this, and you can tell from the video the guys feel the same way! He has given so much to this program. <a href="https://t.co/c7Gq3VtPWx">https://t.co/c7Gq3VtPWx</a></p>— Zach Greenwell (@zach_greenwell) <a href="https://twitter.com/zach_greenwell/status/1231312425040801792?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">February 22, 2020</a></blockquote>” id=”https://twitter.com/zach_greenwell/status/1231312425040801792″ type=”twitter”}}

{{tncms-inline account=”Martin Cross” html=”<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">So happy for my guy E-Stack!!! No one works harder or deserves it more. ✊🏻 <a href="https://t.co/H67XOQsUiX">https://t.co/H67XOQsUiX</a></p>— Martin Cross (@martincross10) <a href="https://twitter.com/martincross10/status/1231312501934977024?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">February 22, 2020</a></blockquote>” id=”https://twitter.com/martincross10/status/1231312501934977024″ type=”twitter”}}

{{tncms-inline account=”Jessica Lucas” html=”<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Okayyyy <a href="https://twitter.com/Evan_Stack1?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Evan_Stack1</a> I see you!! 👏👏👏 <a href="https://t.co/y9CUCJWilA">https://t.co/y9CUCJWilA</a></p>— Jessica Lucas (@JessicaMoLucas) <a href="https://twitter.com/JessicaMoLucas/status/1231311260127571968?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">February 22, 2020</a></blockquote>” id=”https://twitter.com/JessicaMoLucas/status/1231311260127571968″ type=”twitter”}}

{{tncms-inline account=”Moustapha Diagne” html=”<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">He a bucket tho and he plays so hard lol <a href="https://t.co/mxSDkKqLKA">https://t.co/mxSDkKqLKA</a></p>— Moustapha Diagne (@MDiagne_12) <a href="https://twitter.com/MDiagne_12/status/1231381990324232192?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">February 23, 2020</a></blockquote>” id=”https://twitter.com/MDiagne_12/status/1231381990324232192″ type=”twitter”}}

{{tncms-inline account=”Dalton Godbey” html=”<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Evan Stack didn’t even play high school basketball. Not many D1 players can say that. Still a hooper though. <a href="https://t.co/qQt1KTMSNe">https://t.co/qQt1KTMSNe</a></p>— Dalton Godbey (@DaltonTVNews) <a href="https://twitter.com/DaltonTVNews/status/1231373389480300545?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">February 23, 2020</a></blockquote>” id=”https://twitter.com/DaltonTVNews/status/1231373389480300545″ type=”twitter”}}

Reporter Elliott Wells can be reached at [email protected]. Follow Elliott on Twitter at @ewells5.

Sports Editor Drake Kizer can be reached at [email protected]. Follow Drake on Twitter at @drakekizer_.