Shaedon Sharpe studies Beal, knows he’s a mystery originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington
Kentucky guard Shaedon Sharpe is the biggest mystery of the 2022 NBA Draft and he knows it. The 19-year-old didn’t play a single college game last year after graduating from high school as one of the nation’s top rookies. Coach John Calipari said he had the talent to be the No. 1 pick, but few players outside Kentucky‘s program have seen him play for more than a year.
Even Sharpe’s vertical leap is the subject of secret intrigue. There was a report on social media that he jumped 49 inches, which would be the highest mark in NBA history. But he says he doesn’t know what his max vertical is, that teams tested it in the pre-draft process and he didn’t ask for the number.
All the public knows is that he’s supposed to be a Vince Carter-level or Andrew Wiggins-level athlete, with the potential to be very good. And Sharpe is confident he will be a star at the next level no matter where he is chosen.
“I really don’t regret not playing. I work for NBA teams now, so I guess I did something right,” he said during his press conference. draft Friday.
Sharpe is listed at 6-foot-6 and should go somewhere outside the top 5. He could sneak into the top 5, depending on whether a team considers his athletic potential worth taking a chance on.
Sharpe says he’s worked for the Thunder, Magic, Pistons, Hornets, Spurs and Blazers. He also has one planned for the Pacers. Those teams cover the first, second, fifth, sixth, seventh and ninth picks overall, all ahead of the Wizards at 10, plus the 13th and 15th picks, behind Washington. It is not clear if he had contact with wizards.
Sharpe, however, says he studies the game of Bradley Beal, as well as another ancient wizard.
“Growing up, I watched Kobe Bryant a lot and [Michael Jordan]. These two guys because they have good footwork… Right now I’m really watching Bradley Beal, Jayson Tatum and even Zach LaVine just because I feel like I play a lot like them. So I’m really studying those three guys,” Sharpe said.
Sharpe is trying to follow in the footsteps of great players and seems confident he can be one himself. Although he is soft-spoken, he is also the type to talk into existence.
On Friday, he wasn’t shy at all about his goals for the top tier.
“I see myself being one of the greatest players to ever play basketball. I just play at the highest level, I go right after and I compete. One of my goals is to arrive as a what a rookie. [and] winning rookie of the year. Also, All-Star and later Hall of Fame.”
Sharpe didn’t say why he didn’t play at Kentucky. He said it was ultimately his decision, although he sought advice from Calipari, his parents and others.
When asked for details on his year-long sabbatical, which was essentially reported as a long eligibility saga, Sharpe continued to bring the conversation back to his training and his future in the NBA.
“Whatever happens, I will be ready,” he said.