Sharife Cooper is one of the most dynamic point guards in the country, regardless of class. He led the Nike EYBL in assists while running with AOT (Ga.) and dominated the high school season with McEachern (Powder Springs, Ga.). That’s got college basketball heavyweights lining up trying to land the 6-foot-1 floor general and earned him the No. 10 overall ranking in USA Today Sports’ Chosen 25 for 2020. Now Cooper has agreed to give USA TODAY exclusive access into his world by chronicling everything from intimate details about his recruitment to his everyday life in a blog.
Hey world, it’s Sharife Cooper here starting off my new blog with USA Today so let’s get it going.
My team, AOT, finished No. 1 in our division during the Nike EYBL regular season and that was a great accomplishment for us because this is our first year at the 17U level.
We knew that it was gonna be a challenge competing against these teams that have been in the league for years, but we have a lot of chemistry and confidence with our team and when you have that you can do anything.
We’ve been working really hard to get to this point and it’s coming together for us.
We’ve all played together forever; I’ve been playing with Isaac (Okoro) since I was about 8 years old and that kind of stuff translates on the court.
We’re all really unselfish and we just like playing together; that’s why I feel confident heading into the Peach Jam tournament next month.
We lost in the championship of the Peach Jam 16U last year so we have some experience. I feel like the preparation will be the same.
I really only know how to work hard.
Some days I work on ball handling, some days I’m working on shooting, but, with me, there’s always something competitive. If you’re just doing drills all summer you’ll play like a robot so I play against Isaac a lot and just try to keep things competitive at all times.
Some people may not know this, but my high school season ended with a tough loss after being the No. 1 team that was supposed to win it all. I really took a lot from that game; sometimes a loss can be the best teacher.
I feel really good about being able to lead the Nike EYBL in assists this season. There are a lot of great point guards in the league so to come out on top in that category is a great accomplishment for me.
Honestly though, it just makes me want to work harder.
Things are cool with my recruitment; my dad doesn’t tell me a whole lot about that right now. I just like to focus on getting better.
Just like everyone else, I’m out for the summer, but I’m proud to say that I finished strong in the classroom with three A’s and one B.
My parents really put a lot of emphasis on the classroom and I take that very seriously. I love basketball and I know that without school I can’t play so I try and dominate in the classroom like I try to dominate on the court.
OK, so getting away from basketball and books, I, like most guys my age love to listen to music.
These days I’m listening to a lot of Lil Baby, Meek Mill and I throw a little Drake in their sometimes too. I definitely listen to Gunna too; just a lot of Atlanta-based rappers to be honest.
When I’m not training or playing I love to play Fortnite too.
I won’t say that I’m the best player out there, but I’m pretty good.
I think I’d do well against most people, I’ll just say that. Haha.
OK guys that’s it for my first blog.
Thanks for checking it out and I’ll be back soon with the next one.
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