South Central forward Day’Ron Sharpe (6-9, 220) pledged his allegiance to his dream school Sunday night, verbally committing to the University of North Carolina.
Sharpe is the first Roy Williams commit in the class of 2020. In his sophomore season with the Falcons, Sharpe averaged 14.3 points per game and 9.3 rebounds. He also had offers from Virginia, East Carolina and Georgetown. But the big man grew up a Carolina fan and didn’t hesitate to pull the trigger once the offer came. So exactly what are the Tar Heels getting in Sharpe when he arrives on campus two years from now?
“He’s a very multitalented player,” Dwayne West, executive director of the Garner Road Bulldogs said. “He does several things very well at a high rate. He can obviously score the ball around the basket, has a solid shot and is actually a very good play maker. Handles the ball very well.”
Sharpe has been playing with the Garner Road program the last three seasons. West saw Sharpe’s game take off the summer before his freshman year and the end of his sophomore year at South Central. A lot of work and information Sharpe had gotten in the past started to show on the court. Sharpe works with a trainer in Greenville and one in Raleigh. Sharpe also gets to work with two-time NBA champ, and Garner native, David West, who coaches Sharpe’s team.
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Recently, at the NBA’s Top 100 camp in Charlottesville, Sharpe only took around 30 shots, but still led the camp in field goal percentage.
“That’s not surprising to me because he’s a very smart player and he knows how to play the game to be so young,” Dwayne West said. “He knows where to get to score.”
West said Sharpe’s great strength on the court is his ability to think one play ahead. While most kids play on reaction, Sharpe can see what’s happening right now and what he needs to do to take advantage of it.
As good as he is now, West said he can only imagine how polished Sharpe will be in two years, saying the way Sharpe plays makes his a good fit for UNC’s system. West has been so impressed with Sharpe’s skills and development that he recently had a conversation with his Garner Road staff about the possibility of Sharpe being a one-and-done type player.
“He’s that good,” West added.
West feels like Sharpe is one of the best big men in the class of 2019 and 2020, but don’t expect Sharpe to reclassify, something that is becoming more and more popular with prep players.
“He’s not doing all that up and down stuff, no,” West said. “His real class is 2020.”
Sharpe, a four-star prospect according to 247Sports, is the No. 3 player in North Carolina and the No. 13 power forward in the class of 2020.
Off the court, West described Sharpe as a “happy go lucky, fun” kid, but one who has a very competitive side. West told a story about at a recent practice where the clock hit zero and it was time for a scrimmage to come to an end. Sharpe’s team was up one and he didn’t want to leave the floor until the game was officially over. West went against tradition, extended practice and Sharpe hit the game-winning shot before declaring “now we can go home.”
With a commitment to UNC under his belt, the spotlight will only grow around Sharpe, and he will get the best shot from everyone he plays against. West doesn’t see that being an issue.
“Oh, he won’t have a problem,” West said. “He’s going to like that.”