Sage Surratt, one of the country’s most talented hoopers, is done with basketball, focusing on football

Sage Surratt, one of the country’s most talented hoopers, is done with basketball, focusing on football


Sage Surratt, one of the country’s most talented hoopers, is done with basketball, focusing on football


Sage Surratt (Photo: 247Sports)

Sage Surratt (Photo: 247Sports)

LINCOLNTON, N.C. – Sage Surratt is a 6-foot-4, 200-pound shooting guard who can score efficiently on all three levels on the court.

To borrow a cliché hoops phrase, Surratt “gets buckets.”

But even that may be putting it mildly.

Surratt, a senior at Lincolnton (N.C.), averaged 34.7 points per game this season and finished as the No. 2 scorer in state history with 2,951 career points.

He managed seven 40-points plus games and three 50-points plus games this season and broke his own single-game scoring record with 57 points against Bandys (Catawba, N.C.) on Jan. 27.

“I just love to score,” Surratt said. “It’s definitely a rush!”

And what’s Surratt’s post-high school plan for the hardwood?

“There isn’t one,” he said. “I’m done playing basketball.”

Wait, what?

“I’m concentrating on football,” Surratt said. “I don’t have any plans right now to play basketball. I’m just focusing mentally on everything I have to do to be the best football player I can be.”

Before your eyes widen to the point of potentially popping out, you should know that Surratt wields equal dominance on the gridiron.

A secondary’s worst nightmare, Surratt is the state’s career record holder in receptions (366), yards (5,926) and touchdown receptions (80). He was voted N.C.’s AP Offensive Player of the Year after catching 129 passes for 2,104 yards, both state records, and scoring 28 touchdowns in the fall.

“I feel like football just comes so natural to me,” Surratt said. “My dad played in college, my brother is a freshman quarterback at North Carolina; we just have it in our blood. I love it. I want to give myself the best chance to play in the NFL. That’s my dream.”

That was part of the reason behind Surratt decommitting from Harvard in December.

Just one month later he signed with Wake Forest to play football.

“Harvard was 13 hours away and at Wake I’d have the chance to play in a Power Five conference,” Surratt said. “Plus, Wake has a better business school and it’s really close to home so it was the perfect fit for me. I’m excited to get there and compete. Not playing basketball will probably take some getting used to, but, like I said, I’m putting everything into football.”

When asked if he’ll be content to jump up and down screaming and yelling with the rest of the Demon Deacons fans cheering on the basketball team in Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum, Surratt smiled and paused.

“Yeah that would be tough,” Surratt said. “It’s like this, I haven’t been approached by anyone about playing basketball there or anything like that so it’s not reality to me. If the coaches reached out then we’d figure that out at that time, but for now I’m focusing on one sport.”

Smart move according to Lincolnton boys basketball coach Bob Sowie, who added that it’s “almost unrealistic” to ask any Division I level athlete to dedicate themselves to two sports.

“That’s a difficult proposition in this day and age from the time each sport would ask you to put in on top of the academic rigor he’ll have at a school like Wake,” Cowie said. “That said, he could absolutely play basketball there. Just his size, toughness and ability to score in a variety of different ways; I have no doubt he’d have success in basketball.”

Surratt concurred, but said that unless he hears from the Demon Deacons’ basketball coaches his focus will remain on burning defensive backs and taking names.

For now he’s eyeing one last dominant outing on the high school level, this time in the classroom.

“Right now I’m ranked No. 2 in the class with a 5.09 GPA,” Surratt said. “If I get all A’s I should have a good shot at being valedictorian. It’s really important to me so I’m putting everything into that.”

Follow Jason Jordan on Twitter: @JayJayUSATODAY


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