6. Sharife Cooper
School: McEachern (Marietta, Georgia)
Position: Point guard
The reigning ALL-USA Boys Basketball Player of the Year took McEachern to an undefeated 32-0 record and the first state championship in school history. Sharife Cooper averaged 28.6 points, 8.7 assists, six rebounds and 4.1 steals a game, and had similar numbers against Chosen 25 foes: 25 points, nine assists, six rebounds and three steals.
McEachern did not participate in the GEICO Nationals after Cooper and some other important players had different conflicts. For Cooper, it was a USA Basketball camp that he agreed to take part in before the GEICO teams were announced. But with that USA Basketball experience, Nike EYBL (named to the First Team) and Peach Jam (24 points, 10 assists, according to D1 Circuit), Cooper looks primed to take another step forward in his final season of high school basketball.
Cooper is elite on multiple levels with the ball, scoring with ease, driving to the paint and a remarkable passer. He took the mantle of No. 1 player in the Chosen 25 following the undefeated season with McEachern, in which they finished No. 3 in the Super 25. With his leadership and talent, it will be intriguing to see how many more wins the team can rattle off before someone finally takes them down.
Also — Cooper has yet to commit to a college. Entering his final year of basketball, that will be at the forefront of everything he does. He has 19 offers, but many of the names oft-associated with top-tier talent – Kansas, North Carolina, Duke – don’t show up on the offer list, according to 247Sports. The mystery behind his recruitment and intrigue to his talent make for a season to watch.