Tyreke Evans has learned he can see a lot better than he realized.
"I've got 15/20 (vision)," Evans said. "I thought 20/20 was the best, but I got an eye exam in Sacramento and they said I have 15/20."
That also means if there's an open teammate this season, Evans can't honestly say he didn't see him, right?
"Yeah, I know, right?" Evans said with a laugh.
Evans spread the gift of eye exams in his hometown of Chester, Pa., last week with the help of Vision Service Plan, which offered free eye exams with one of its mobile clinics.
Over the summer, Evans dedicated himself to improving his game as he enters his fourth NBA season. That didn't change in Chester, where he made sure he found a gym for his workouts between community work and spending time with his family.
But it was important for Evans to bring the eye exams to his hometown. Many of the children in the community do not have access to proper health care.
The median income in Chester is $23,703, and for a family, it's $29,436. Twenty-seven percent (9,172) of the population lives below the poverty line, and 72 percent (7,289) of its students qualify for free or reduced-price school lunches.
Chester's population is 33,972, including 10,124 children. Of those age 18 and under, 37 percent live below the poverty line.
Chester lost its manufacturing jobs in the 1960s. That led to a huge drop in population and an increase in poverty.
Pennsylvania designated Chester as a financially distressed municipality in 1995, and the city's schools ranked last among the state's districts in standardized test scores.
"I just wanted to get out here and give back to Chester," Evans said. "I saw the need to get free eye exams out here to kids because I know a lot of kids don't go to get eye exams."
The eye exams are part of a citywide health initiative. And VSP has adopted Chester and will provide free eye exams for residents without vision coverage on an annual basis.
Besides determining the need for eyeglasses, eye exams can help determine other health issues.
"That's what I'm excited about," said Chester Mayor John Linder. "It's not just the mobile van comes around, but they're preaching annual care. And it gets the parents and the children into a routine of good health care. And this vision initiative is one of the most exciting we have, especially because of Tyreke."
The week in Chester was Evans' final excursion before he returned to Sacramento on Saturday to prepare for the 2012-13 season.
Evans is eligible for a contract extension by Oct. 31 or the Kings will have to wait until the end of the season to work on a long-term deal.
The plan discussed at the end of last season was for Evans to play out the 2012-13 season and go from there.
Since then, Evans has heard his name mentioned in trade rumors. The most prominent rumor, which arose before the NBA draft in June, had the Kings sending Evans to Houston for point guard Kyle Lowry and draft picks.
The Kings said that deal never was on the table.
Amid the rumors, Kings basketball president Geoff Petrie and coach Keith Smart have raved about what they see as Evans' most productive offseason.
"I'm tired of everybody talking," Evans said. "I just want to go out there and play and show everybody what I can do. It's easy to talk about it. Now it's time to go out there and do it. I'm excited about the season. I can't wait to show people what I've been working on."