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Sterling grad relies on faith to succeed

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Zack Everett isn't afraid of hard work.

Everett had to work for everything he got on the basketball court, and he's planning on a career that will surely be filled with heaps of hard work.

The recent Sterling High School graduate will suit up one last time with teammates and former rivals in Thursday's SVM All-Star Classic at Sauk Valley Community College.

Everett averaged 6.7 points, 5.6 rebounds and 1.3 steals his senior season for the Golden Warriors. None of his numbers came easy.

"I wasn't necessarily blessed with height or jumping ability," the 6-foot-2 Everett said. "I had to play harder than everybody else and outwork people."

Everett's hard work has also included three mission trips to Honduras.

"My faith is super important to me," he said. "Our relationship with Jesus is the No. 1 thing."

Everett had to overcome ailment and injury during his high school career.

As a sophomore, he had knee surgery in the middle of the basketball season after tearing the meniscus in his left knee.

He also had two bouts with cellulitis, a common skin infection caused by bacteria. The first, his sophomore year, put him in the hospital for 4 or 5 days during finals week.

"I got it on my right elbow and it swelled up really bad," he said. "It was like I had a softball on the end of my elbow. They didn't catch it in time and it traveled to my shoulder."

Everett was told he would likely not have the problem again, but his junior year it was back, and he missed several games.

This fall, Everett plans to begin his freshman year at Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais. He does not plan on continuing his sports career.

Everett will major in criminal justice and minor in finance and military science.

He's not one of those students going into college with no idea what they want to be when they grow up.

"My lifelong goal is to be a DEA [Drug Enforcement Administration] special agent," said Everett, whose already had a couple ride-alongs with local police and has two relatives in the DEA.

Everett's parents weren't thrilled with his desire to pursue such a dangerous career.

"A lot of prayer goes into what I want to do with my life," he said. "I feel like it's what God's calling me to do."

Everett file

2013: Team-high 5.6 rebounds per game; team's second-leading scorer at 6.7 points per game; also averaged 1.3 steals while playing in 24 of team's 29 games during 11-18 campaign

2012: Played in 24 of team's 27 games, averaging 1.1 rebounds and 0.9 points in 8.6 minutes per game in 16-14 season


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