USA TODAY High School Sports has unveiled the ALL-USA Boys Basketball Teams for the 2018-19 season as selected by the USA TODAY Sports staff in consultation with high school coaches and recruiting experts.
COACH OF THE YEAR: Mike Thompson, McEachern
Name: Sharife Cooper
School: McEachern (Powder Springs, Ga.)
Details: Cooper, a junior who is ranked No. 3 overall in USA Today Sports’ Chosen 25, led No. 2 McEachern to a perfect 32-0 record and the first boys basketball state title in the school’s history. Cooper averaged 28.6 points, 8.7 assists, six rebounds and 4.1 steals a game this season, including four 40-point games. In nine wins over Super 25 opponents this season, Cooper averaged 25 points, nine assists, six rebounds and three steals a game.
Favorite food: Spaghetti. My mom’s is the best.
Most New Jersey part of me: That’s where I’m originally from and I would have to say the most Jersey thing about me is my attitude. I have a killer mindset on the court. I don’t really play friendly on the court and I’ll do whatever it takes to win.
My worst sport: Soccer. I can’t get the footing down for that one.
Changes: I would have to say that my biggest changes came in the physical aspect of the game. I’ve gotten a lot stronger and that makes it a lot easier to get to my spots on the court. I’m jumping a little higher now too.
Best on-court moment this season: Winning states. The feeling that you know you’ve accomplished something big is great! It’s hard to describe, but it’s a feeling I want to feel again.
Best off-court moment this season: City of Palms tournament in Florida around Christmas; we had a lot of fun on that trip.
Favorite movie: Fast & Furious. The last one was the best.
Biggest influences: My mom, dad and my sister. My mom is the best and I just want to take care of her for all the love she’s given me. My dad put the battery in my back, and he’s been there every step and he pushes me to be the best player I can be. Then my sister, just watching her do everything I want to do has helped me a lot. I can lean on her and she’s the best person I know.
Making sacrifices: Biggest would be my social life. Sometimes you just want to be a regular kid, but I’m really focused on what I want to be. I don’t really think that’s a bad thing though. I know what I want.
Favorite class: English. I like writing a lot.
Cool talent away from sports: I have an eye for fashion. I want to do a clothing line down the road. I can put things together to make it perfect.