Shaedon Sharpe knows that this will sound a bit cliché, but the fruition of his feelings is all the proof he needs not to shy away from speaking his truth.
“I just needed a chance to show what I could do,” Sharpe said. “I knew that I just needed the chance.”
After minimal production at Sunrise Christian (Wichita, Kan.) last season as a sophomore, Sharpe transferred to Dream City Christian (Glendale, Ariz.) and has made one of the biggest production-based leaps of any player at any level.
This season, Sharpe is averaging 25 points a game; that’s up from just six points a game last season.
It gets even more impressive when you consider that Sharpe plays on the grueling Grind Session, a collection of some of the best teams and players in the country.
“I just came into the season with a different mindset,” said Sharpe, who is also averaging five rebounds and four assists this season. “I knew the opportunity would be there this season and I wanted to be prepared for it.”
When COVID-19 cancelled his summer plans of domination with UPlay Canada in the Nike Elite Youth Basketball League, Sharpe began a daily intense training session with his UPlay coach Dwayne Washington, focusing on his shooting and ball handling.
“After the summer I can see that my pace and my mid-range game has grown a lot,” Sharpe said. “Adding this stuff to my game has made the game so much easier for me. Just to see the hard work paying off for me makes me want to go harder.”
At 6-foot-4, Sharpe gets to the rim at-will and has the athleticism (45-inch vertical leap) to finish with authority once he’s there. Sharpe can extend the defense with his perimeter jump shot and keeps them off balance with the addition of the efficient mid-range jump shot. He’s a talented playmaker who makes strong reads out of ball-screens as well.
College coaches have taken notice.
Oregon, Illinois, Maryland, Cincinnati and Xavier have already offered, while Duke, Kentucky and USC have intensified their interest.
Sharpe hails from Ontario and is widely regarded as the No. 2 Canadian player in the 2022 class, behind George Harris Prep (Can.) forward Enoch Boakye, who is committed to Michigan State.
“I feel like I’m a top 10 player in the 2022 class in America,” Sharpe said. “I think eventually that will happen, so I don’t worry about it. I’m more motivated by not being there right now than anything. It just means there’s more work to do, and that was always the plan anyway.”