Three years after playing against the best of the best in Ontario with the Beal Raiders at OFSAA, Londoner Shaedon Sharpe is now set to play against the best of the best in the world.
Sharpe was selected seventh overall by the Portland Trail Blazers at the 2022 NBA Draft in Brooklyn, N.Y.
When his name was called by NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, Sharpe stood up wearing a suit designed by his sister and made his way to the stage to put on his hat and soak in his moment.
Sharpe became the eighth Canadian selected in the top 10 since 2013 when Anthony Bennett of Toronto went first overall to the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The very next year Andrew Wiggins went first overall — also to the Cavaliers.
Sharpe was part of back-to-back draft picks from Canada after Montreal native Bennedict Mathurin was chosen sixth overall by the Indians Pacers.
In 2019, Sharpe spent his one and only year playing high school basketball in the Thames Valley Athletic Association and it was at that point that Dave Sewell who has coached with Fanshawe and with the NBL of Canada’s London Lightning first heard about him.
“When I first met him I had just left the Lightning and a friend of mine told me I had to go (see Shaedon) play,” said Sewell. “You could tell he had a chance to do something special with the game.”
Sharpe moved to the United States to attend prep school in Kansas and then moved to Dream City Christian School in Glendale, Ariz., the year after that.
While Sharpe impressed at both spots it was his play in the Nike Elite Youth Basketball League that got him noticed at the next level.
“The NEYBL is very different,” noted Sewell. “Coaches and staffs from every school in the country (are in attendance). A majority of (NBA) general managers are there.”
Sharpe committed to the University of Kentucky but was not slated to start his NCAA career until 2022-23. He graduated high school a semester early and enrolled at Kentucky with a plan to practice as a redshirt freshman ahead of his first season at College.
Sewell says once he got to Kentucky Sharpe was presented with a major choice.
“He didn’t end up playing and was projected (to be a high NBA draft pick) and he and his family and the coaching staff made a decision (to declare for the draft) and here we are today,” Sewell described.
The future has always been bright for Sharpe. Now it’s just coming into clear focus.
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