Emanuel Sharp has had an impressive breadth of basketball experience for a young man who is set to graduate high school in 2022. Born in Israel to a couple of long-term professional basketball players, Derrick Sharp and Justine Ellison Sharp, he has represented Israel in FIBA U16 Division A competition while making noise in Florida high school basketball. His father had a 16-year playing career with Maccabi Tel Aviv and is now coaching his son at Bishop McLaughlin Catholic HIgh School (FL). The younger Sharp is a 6’4 scoring guard, with a great pull-up game, the requisite frame and strength to get to the basket and plenty of playmaking upside.
Holding offers from Ole Miss, Florida, Houston, Iona, Louisville and South Florida among others, Sharp’s recruitment is far from finished. Also, considering his parents and older brother’s professional experience overseas, he is naturally keeping his options open. As a 15-year-old playing in the 2019 FIBA U16’s for Israel, Sharp led the tournament in scoring at 25 points per game. With last summer’s competition cancelled due to COVID-19, Sharp will look to make up for lost time this summer while representing Israel. Sharp has additional summer plans, as well, when he’ll be playing for E1T1 on the Nike EYBL circuit.
Through 22 games this high school season, Sharp averaged 24.7 points, while Bishop McLaughlin finished as state runner-up in Class 3A. Long on the radar due to his scoring proficiency, Sharp is trying to show he belongs further up the rankings. With supreme confidence and work ethic, he should be a player to watch moving forward and it would not at all be surprising to see his name shoot up the national rankings.
In this interview, we discuss Sharp’s basketball family, his development during this past season, the toughest players he has faced, the experience playing with Israel in FIBA competition, his recruitment, his goals, his personality off the court, how he sees his role in the future, and much more.
For the next installment of the Pro Insight Q&A series, we present 2022 prospect Emanuel Sharp, from Herzliya, Israel:
Pro Insight: Talk a bit about your background.
ES: So I was born in Israel, both my parents played professional basketball. So all my siblings and I, we all grew up around the game, my mom’s games and my dad’s games. We went to a lot of my dad’s games, all the championships we got to be on the floor and experience how my dad was a professional — we got to be around that type of vibe and it was good for us. I have two older brothers, a younger brother, and a younger sister. My oldest brother plays overseas in Israel, where I’m from, and my other brother is in college right now, he goes to Kalamazoo. It’s in Michigan. I lived in Israel until about 2013 and then we moved to the United States. The rest of my family was already living in Florida and we would come down to visit in the summers, stay for the summer and go back to school. Then in 2013 is when my dad retired, he coached for one or two years and then we moved down here [Florida] full-time. My oldest brother finished high school in Florida and moved back to Israel to play professionally and I’ve been here ever since 4th grade until now.
PI: What was the adjustment like moving from Israel to Florida?
ES: I mean it wasn’t hard because we were coming down here during the summers so I was familiar with everybody here. I was already used to American culture, so it wasn’t that hard.
PI: Did you play any other sports growing up?
ES: I mean I didn’t play any other sports seriously, but I played all different sports growing up in elementary or middle school. I love football, but nothing too serious, I didn’t play football outside of school, it was mainly just basketball. I’m a great shot-creator, I’m a great passer, and I’m just a floor general and leader when I’m on the court.
PI: For those that aren’t super familiar with your game — what are your greatest strengths?
ES: I mean I’m a great combo guard that can score the ball. I get my teammates involved, too. I’m a great shooter — and I have size, too, which helps me when I go to the basket.
PI: What are your current measurements?
ES: I’m 6’4” and about 205-210 pounds right now. I don’t know my wingspan, I just know I’m 6’4” 210.
PI: It looks like you’ve been getting leaner, have you dropped weight this past year?
ES: I actually went on a diet right when I broke my hand, like during that break, and I’ve stayed on it ever since. I’ve lost like 10-15 pounds after I started my diet so it’s been good.
PI: How have you felt it on the court?
ES: I mean, I don’t really feel any different because I’m so used to it, the weight I’m at, but I can definitely tell the difference if I look back. Like if I look back at myself before the season started I can definitely see that I’m bigger, but I’ll notice if I’m jumping, I’ll notice that I’m jumping higher and I feel better on the court because I’m looser. It’s hard to notice, because when you’re at a certain weight you’re kind of used to it, so in the moment I can’t really tell, but when I look back I can definitely see it.
PI: What do you feel you still need to improve on the most?
ES: I can still improve on my body, I can slim out even more and add some more muscle and make my motor better on the court. I can work on my defense, like my speed and agility to be able to guard the smaller/quicker guards. That would really help me.
PI: What are some underrated parts of your game you feel you don’t get enough credit for?
ES: Definitely my passing, I’ve noticed that. Like people think I’m a ball-hog, but I think I’m a very underrated passer. If you watch any of my AAU games I’m a very underrated passer, I’m very good at finding my teammates — like bigs in pick-and-roll, I’m a great passer, great lob thrower — like if you see my teammate Dillon Mitchell, I’m throwing him lobs all game. Like I’m looking for him. So I think I have great vision on the court.
PI: Who has been the toughest individual matchup you’ve ever faced?
ES: Definitely Emoni Bates and I would say Marvel Allen on Calvary Christian — he was a tough player to guard in