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Ilian Evtimov played at NC State from 2001-2006. Over his career in Raleigh the 6’7 forward averaged 9.3 ppg, 4 rebounds and 2 assists. Evtimov was extremely versatile for a big man. He played the high post, was a great passer, a strong rebounder and he shot nearly 40% from beyond the arc over his 4 years at State.

If you’ve followed PackInsider.com since the beginning, then you’ll remember that Ilian used to contribute to the site weekly. We reached back out to to check up on him and to see where life has taken him. Leave a note for Ilian in our comment section…

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I am really glad to connect to the Wolfpack nation. It has been a while since I have last connected with you, however my life has been everything but quiet.

Since my days at NC State ended, I have been playing professional basketball in Spain, Italy, Germany, Cyprus, and France. I got married in 2010 and have two wonderful kids. Expecting a third one anytime now.

I have not only gained great experience and exposure during my basketball career by winning the French cup twice, the Mid Season tourney, the National Championship and being named twice to the All Star game, but I also finished my masters degree in Parks Recreation and Tourism at NC State. I also got involved, very aggressively, in the Real Estate business,  both in the USA and France. In addition I have been a speaker at different conventions, mainly talking about success and leadership.

I am currently still playing professional basketball in France, as I signed for 2 years with Cholet basket. I am also writing a book that will be a tremendous tool for this generation of athletes, and also for the sports fan who will get to experience the life and adversities that professional athletes face both on and off the court. It will also help athletes prepare during their career for life after professional sports.

My life after basketball is still unclear, but I am leaning towards coaching. Many of my former coaches and previous teammates are now coaching. Take Levi Watkins, Julius Hodge and Archie Miller for example. I have always felt that I can bring something to young players both on and off the court. Plus, I am having a hard time believing I could go on and not be involved with basketball – I love it way too much.

In the meantime, I am enjoying every bit of playing as I plan to play another 3 or 4 years. I do spend most of my summer time in the USA, in Winston Salem.  I have family and my investments there. I stop by the school and speak and connect with the coaching staff, and I know this year is going to be great. I cannot wait until it starts. Go Pack!

-Ilian Evtimov


Ilian Evtimov – hoops highlights from Hoops International on Vimeo.

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Lisa Stolar
Lisa Stolar
7 years ago

Sounds like a beautiful life; so happy for you!!

Wolphpack
Wolphpack
7 years ago

Congratulations, sounds like you are doing great!!

Pack in the Pros

Should Former NC State All-American Catcher Patrick Bailey be an NL All-Star?

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Former NC State All-American Catcher Patrick Bailey is having a great 2nd season in the Majors.

Bailey is batting .286 this season, which is a vast improvement to his .233 average as a Rookie last year. He already has 5 Home Runs in roughly half the at-bats as last season, when he hit 7. His plate discipline has improved, striking out less and walking more. Bailey is on pace to strike out around 30 times less than last year, and is 1 Walk away from tying his total from last year.

Despite not having flashy offensive numbers in 2023, Bailey made a name for himself behind the plate. He currently ranks 1st in the National League in Framing, 2nd in Putouts and 2nd in Pop Time.

Overall, he has the 3rd highest WAR (Wins Above Replacement) of any Catcher in the National League.

As things currently stand, Bailey doesn’t rank in the Top-5 in All-Star voting, but it’s criminal that Sean Murphy (Braves) and J.T. Realmuto (Phillies) have so many more votes.

Last year, 3 catchers made the All-Star team, so Go Vote for Bailey!

 

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Pack in the Pros

Former NC State Running Back Ricky Person Signs with the Seattle Seahawks

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After leading the UFL in Rushing Touchdowns this past season, former NC State Running Back Ricky Person has signed with the Seattle Seahawks.

Person joins former High School (Heritage High School) and College (NC State) teammate Drake Thomas (LB) in Seattle.

After rushing for 1,979 yards and 14 touchdowns at NC State, Person went undrafted, but signed as an Undrafted Free Agent with the Baltimore Ravens, but was eventually waived due to an undisclosed injury.

For the past two seasons, Person has played for the Birmingham Stallions, which was in the USFL in 2023, and the UFL this past season. In 2023, he only rushed the ball 14 times, but this past season, he rushed for 297 yards and 6 touchdowns, and also had 150 receiving yards. This year, Person was elemental in helping lead the Stallions to the USFL 2024 Championship.

 

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Pack in the Pros

Former NC State All-American SS Trea Turner Picks Up 2 Hits in Return from IL

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Former NC State All-American Shortstop Trea Turner returned from the Injured List last night, going 2 for 5 from the plate with 1 Run.

Turner has been out since early May with a hamstring strain (missing 38 games), but prior to injury, he was playing about as good as anyone in the league. He is batting .345.

As of yesterday, Turner is 2nd in the National League in All-Star voting for Shortstops, trailing only Mookie Betts, who is running away with 1st place. He has made the All-Star team twice before (2021, 2022)

Turner was a 2-time All-American at NC State. In 2012, Turner was named 3rd Team All-American by NCBWA, and in 2013 he was named 2nd Team by Collegiate Baseball, and 3rd Team by NCBWA and Baseball America.

His 113 career stolen bases at NC State are the most in school history. Turner was drafted by the San Diego Padres in the 1st Round with the 13th overall pick in the 2014 MLB Draft.

Trea is easily the best Major League batter to ever come out of NC State. Out of all the Wolfpack players to make it to the MLB, he ranks 1st in Hits (1,252), Runs (716), Doubles (236), Home Runs (152), RBI’s (519), Stolen Bases (270) and Walks (322).

 

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NC State Basketball

DJ Burns talks keys to recent weight loss during Pre-Draft Workout with Pacers

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Pack fans have been wondering how after 2 years in Raleigh, DJ Burns finally figured out how to drop weight, and keep it off. He spoke to reporters during his pre-draft workout with the Pacers.

“Playing at the pace we played today. Doing the work we did today. I probably would have left out with a full body cramp a couple months ago.”

“Keep on improving my pace. Adjusting to the level and speed I’m going to have to play at, at all times.”

“Lots of running. Lots of figuring out which foods I can no longer have, which were almost all of them that I liked. So, just finding new ones that I do like that go along with the plan.”

“This is the third (workout), and I actually travel to Milwaukee tomorrow to workout with the Bucks. And then some more stuff being confirmed that I won’t speak on just yet.”

Burns has worked out for the Lakers, Pacers and Hornets up to this point.

Plus more…

Listen to the full interview above.

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