NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. – AOT (Ga.) point guard Sharife Cooper certainly wasn’t wanting for fans at the Nike Peach Jam last week.
The 6-foot-1, crafty floor general led the summer’s most prestigious and competitive tournament in scoring (30.2 points per game) and assists (10 per game); the first time that’s happened in the tournament’s storied history.
Add in the fact that Cooper is merely a rising junior and his dominance gets even more impressive.
Perhaps that’s what created arguably his biggest fan of the weekend, back-to-back NBA champion and 2014 NBA MVP Kevin Durant.
Durant dropped in to take in games at Peach Jam on Saturday and raved about Cooper while watching him from the sidelines.
Afterward, Durant stuck around and chopped it up with Cooper.
“He told me he really liked my game and that he felt like I had the whole package,” Cooper said. “He told me to let him know if I needed any advice because he said he wanted to see me in the NBA.”
It’s not the first time an NBA star has sung Cooper’s praises, but Cooper said having one of the best players on the planet give him his stamp of approval was “humbling.”
“Just to know that a guy who’s seen and played against everyone in the world, basically, valued my game was special to me,” Cooper said.
Cooper, who is ranked No. 10 overall in USA Today Sports’ Chosen 25 for 2020, had been dominant all spring and summer and came in to the Peach Jam with high expectations after being named Nike EYBL Offensive Player of the Year.
To surpass said expectations on the summer’s biggest stage put Cooper’s stock through the roof and has every major program in the country calling this week.
“I just love to compete,” Cooper said. “Having KD take the time out to talk to me and give me advice just made me want to perfect all the things I know I need to get better at. It just made me want to work so much harder.”
Follow Jason Jordan on Twitter: @JayJayUSATODAY