Local ACC fans, especially the ones in Chapel Hill better get used to the name Day’Ron Sharpe.
The 6-10 South Central (Winterville) junior committed to the Tar Heels over the summer, and Wednesday night the Falcons made their John Wall Holiday Invitational debut, defeating Athens Drive, 65-52, in the opening round of the T.J. Warren bracket.
Sharpe, the No. 2 player in the state in the class of 2020, and the fifth best center in the nation, scored 16 points, hitting 7 of 9 from the field, and led South Central with 11 rebounds in 26 minutes of action.
South Central has played in two 4A east regional finals since Sharpe has been on the varsity, but this was the first trip west for the school located outside of Greenville. Sharpe, who helped the Falcons jump out to a 14-0 lead, got off to a slow start and his 16 points came quietly, as guard Shykiem Phillips led the team with 20 points. Jahzeer Baker also chipped in 16. Baker, who like most of the packed house at Holiday Gym, knew the buzz surrounds Sharpe, said each player on the team has to do their role. Wednesday night, Sharpe’s role was to feed off of Baker and Phillips. Facing constant double and triple teams, Sharpe still managed to find a way to impact the game.
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With the commitment to UNC done over the summer, Sharpe said the coaching staff is constantly reaching out to check on his progress. Sharpe’s lead recruiter is Tar Heels’ assistant coach Steve Robinson.
“It’s basically like a big family,” Sharpe said. “Coach Rob, he has a funny side, he likes to joke and stuff. When it comes to basketball he’s serious. He always ask what I’m working on when he calls.”
Since his commitment Sharpe has seen his stock rise, not only in the recruiting rankings, but also his visibility wherever he goes.
“People asking for autographs and stuff, I’m adjusting to do it well,” Sharpe said.
Sharpe might not be the only future Tar Heel in the tournament. Roy Williams also offered Trinity Academy forward Isaiah Todd over the summer. Todd is the No. 1 player in the state in the class of 2020. Sharpe and Todd briefly met at the last UNC home game, but Sharpe was going to do his best Coach Robinson impersonation during the John Wall.
“I’m about to watch him play,” Sharpe said. “I’m going to recruit, try to get him to come to Carolina and play with me.”