LONDON, Ontario — In a long list of high school basketball prospects, there’s perhaps nobody more exciting to watch than London, Ontario’s own, Shaedon Sharpe.
Over the course of the last decade, Canada has produced some of the world’s greatest athletes, including NBA superstars like R.J. Barrett, Andrew Wiggins, Jamal Murray, and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander.
However, while all of these exceptional young players carry their own unique skill set, Shaedon Sharpe may be slightly ahead of these great names, thanks to his incredibly rapid development.
Sharpe was the main attraction at London, Ontario’s H.B. Beal Secondary School, leading the Raiders to the 2019 OFSAA AAA Championship as the ninth rated team in the entire province. He also managed to help lead Team Canada to a silver medal in the 2019 FIBA U16 Americas Championship averaging over 13 points per game.
However, in order to sharpen his game, he decided to take his talents stateside for a run with Sunrise Christian Prep in Bel Aire, Kansas for the 2019-20 year.
Following a solid start in Kansas, he then transferred to Dream City Christian Prep in Glendale, Arizona during the 2020-21 season, instantly taking over as the team’s go-to scoring option. Shaedon Sharpe is yet another Canadian prospect to come through the illustrious Ontario-based AAU program, UPlay Canada, which is the golden child of founder Dwayne Washington, and has quickly emerged as one of Canada’s premier AAU/Prep basketball programs. The team has helped produce NBA talents such as Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, R.J. Barrett, and 2021 draftee, A.J. Lawson.
In Sharpe’s first season with Dream City Christian, he immediately blossomed into a superstar, averaging 21.4 points, six rebounds, and three assists per game. Not long into the season, his AAU coach, Dwayne Washington, reached out to a familiar face; Coach Calipari and the University of Kentucky, to discuss Sharpe’s future with the Wildcats. Washington had this to say on the young London, Ontario-native at the time;
“He has excellent ball skills, and I think a school like Kentucky does better with bigger guards that can playmake and score, i.e. Brandon Knight, Shai, Jamal Murray, the list goes on… He doesn’t even know that he’s doing well… He has no idea. He just thinks that it’s part of the process.”
Following a remarkable showing at the Nike circuit in South Carolina this past July with UPlay, Sharpe was bumped up to the No. 1 national ranking for Rivals.com, ESPN, HoopSeen.com and On3.com. Making him the undeniable threat coming into the 2021-22 season. 247Sports’ Travis Branham had the following to say on the 6-foot-5 shooting guard from Ontario;
“Explosive, explosive guard who can really, really score from all three levels… He’s really improved his jumper over the past year. He’s creative off the bounce. He does rely a little bit too heavily on tough, contested pull-up jumpers. But he makes tough shots, too. I do think he will need to be a bit more assertive and aggressive when it comes to attacking the rim and not just settling, and I do think that’s something that you can get out of him. Especially with how gifted of an athlete he is, how strong he is physically. I think he could be a big-time slasher once that’s kind of pushed on him and pulled out of him… And the playmaking potential and defensive potential are there. He’s also a really good rebounder for his position. He’s a guy that can come in and be someone that you can get the ball to in late-game, late-clock situations, and he’s going to be able to go get you a bucket.”
Sharpe was the clear standout at the renowned Nike circuit this past summer, finishing with 22.6 points, 5.8 rebounds, and 2.7 assists per game while shooting 36.4% from deep.
On Sept. 7, Shaedon Sharpe removed all mystery about where he’d be heading in 2022 with a single Twitter post;
“And I rock Kentucky Blue, COMMITTED! @KentuckyMBB #bbn #mytoolbox”
— Shaedon Sharpe (@ShaedonSharpe) September 7, 2021
Citing the player development program at UK as a major driving force in joining the Wildcats, as Calipari has helped countless others take their games to the next level.
Even while Kentucky will bolster a handful of studs next season, such as five-star point guard Skyy Clark, five-star big man Adem Bona and (potentially) combo guard Cason Wallace, Sharpe should contend for the team’s leading scorer and find a natural role on Calipari’s team next season.
Calipari is technically not allowed to speak on Sharpe until he’s officially signed with the Wildcats (per NCAA regulations), which he’ll be allowed to do beginning Nov.10.
But one can imagine Calipari’s exuberance for the arrival of the young shooting guard.
Now entering his senior year at the esteemed Arizona prep school, Shaedon Sharpe’s future seems extraordinarily bright.
One thing’s for certain, he has all the tools necessary to become one of the greatest basketball players Canada has ever seen.
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