King H.S. triplets headed to esteemed West Point summer program

From left, Alexander, Andre and Anthony Evans are the first set of triplets to be accepted to West Point’s Summer Leaders Series for high school juniors. After the summer program, if the triplets are accepted into the prestigious military academy, ranked

Leaders at their South Side high school, academically and musically, three brothers have set their sights on attending the nation’s top college after graduation next year, but are making history in the meantime.

The Evans triplets – 17-year-old Andre, Anthony and Alexander – juniors at King College Prep have maintained grade point averages above 3.5, mentor underclassmen, play in the school’s band and have been accepted to the United States Military Academy at West Point’s Summer Leaders Series.

They are the first set of triplets to attend the military academy’s SLS program, according to a spokesman at West Point.

“We don’t necessarily have a love for the military, we have a love for attending the best school in the country. We have a lot to offer and know that West Point is the best choice for us,” Andre Evans told the Defender. He plays the baritone trombone and plans to major in nuclear engineering and minor in chemical engineering. King doesn’t have an ROTC program, and the boys wouldn’t have joined if it were offered. The best preparation they could receive will come from the summer program, and from what their father, Dwayne Johnson, a U.S. Army veteran, has exposed them to, the boy said.

“The benefits from the summer program will far outweigh what ROTC could offer us. The benefits just aren’t on the same scale,” said Andre.

In the weeklong summer program, the triplets will attend classes, get military and physical fitness training and participate in intramural sports in order to expose them to cadet life. They are among the 1,100 high school juniors invited to attend the SLS. More than 3,000 apply each year.

The SLS is one step of the admissions process for the academy. The next phase would be acceptance into West Point after graduation. The military academy was ranked by Forbes magazine as United State’s best college, trouncing Princeton and Harvard universities and the U.S. Air Force Academy.

The number of cadets currently attending West Point is 4,551; 16 percent – or 288 – are Black, statistics from the academy show.

Anthony, who plays the tenor saxophone and plans to major in political science and get a law degree, said West Point would give them the opportunity to “write our own ticket in life.”

“After we’re accepted and graduate, we won’t have to struggle to get into our career fields. They have everything set up that allows us to succeed,” said Anthony.

Brother Alexander simply said West Point is “working with the best.”

Alexander, who plays the alto saxophone and has an affinity for computers, said the military academy would help them “gain a better experience than any other school.”

When asked if they initially set out to make history as the first triplets accepted into the summer program, and hopefully the academy, he replied, “No,” adding it is, however, a nice touch and sets an example for others aspiring to excel.

“We show that we’re leaders at school in the band and with our peers. We are a very unique package and will be the first ever at the academy. We will be making history and that feels nice,” said Alexander, who plans to major in computer science and minor in computer programming.

Admission to West Point, located in New York, is extremely competitive. Candidates must receive a nomination from a member of Congress or the Army, and are evaluated on their academic, physical and leadership potential. Upon graduation, the cadets must serve at least five years of active duty.

If the triplets are accepted and graduate from West Point, Andre plans to join the Army’s Chemical Corp.; Anthony plans to join the Judge Advocacy General Corps.; and Alexander plans to join the Computer Security Technical area.

 Copyright 2010 Chicago Defender.

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