NBAPortland Trail Blazers

Exclusive Interview: Shaedon Sharpe Is Set to Takeoff in His Sophomore Season

PORTLAND, OREGON - FEBRUARY 13: Shaedon Sharpe #17 of the Portland Trail Blazers jumps up to dunk against the Los Angeles Lakers during the fourth quarter at Moda Center on February 13, 2023 in Portland, Oregon. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Amanda Loman/Getty Images)

Shaedon Sharpe is poised to take his game to another level next season. From honing in on specific aspects of his arsenal to embracing more of a leadership role with the Blazers, Sharpe is locked in on the grind.

The 20-year-old is coming off a solid rookie campaign. Although he only averaged 9.9 points and 3.0 rebounds per contest, he flashed generational athleticism — accumulating more posters than most players do in their career.

While speaking with Sideline Sources’ Wenzell Ortiz at the Ball Don’t Stop Pro-Am in Toronto, Sharpe talked about his expectations for next season, taking Scoot Henderson under his wing, and more.

Interview with Shaedon Sharpe

Questions and answers have been edited and condensed for clarity.

Wenzell Ortiz: How does it feel to be back home and putting on a basketball camp for the youth?

Shaedon Sharpe: It feels really good to give back. I was once in their shoes, so just coming back and helping Ball Don’t Stop run his camp is a good feeling.

WO: Talk to me about the relationship you have with Ball Don’t Stop. How did you guys meet?

SS: It’s a good, cool relationship. I went down to Vancouver and played five, six games with them. Ever since we’ve been in touch and they asked me to come to camp.

WO: What do you make of the influx of Canadian talent in the NBA? Also, how does it feel to be a part of the movement inspiring basketball players in Canada?

SS: It feels really good. People know Canada as a hockey country. So just trying to bring basketball to the map and to the city; to put Canada on the map with basketball is a special feeling.

WO: What’s your welcome to the league moment?

SS: Honestly, I can’t even remember. I’ll probably say when I was guarding KD (Kevin Durant) and he did his signature move on me and drove it to the hoop and he caught me. I fouled him and I’m like, ‘This is really the league.’

WO: Describe the highlight of your rookie year.

SS: I would say when we played the Lakers in LA and I got that put-back dunk. I’d probably say that’s the one moment in my rookie season that I took off.

WO: Who do you want to put on a poster the most?

SS: It’s really whoever’s in the way and whoever we’re playing is who imma catch. I’m not really hunting to go get people.

WO: You ended the season averaging nearly 24 points per game, on 37.8% shooting from beyond the arc. How do you carry that momentum into next season?

SS: Just stay in the gym. Put in the same work I put in throughout the season and play basketball and the game I know how to play.

WO: Is there an aspect of your game that you’re hoping to showcase more?

SS: Really just my pace and getting my teammates involved. I’m also working on my midrange, three-pointer, and post moves. So just working on little things.

WO: What are you looking forward to most about playing with Scoot Henderson?

SS: Just building that chemistry and brotherhood that Portland tries to emphasize. It’s gonna be fun. Fun to play and fun to watch. So we’re gonna see what happens.

WO: Have you given Henderson any advice to help him prepare for the NBA?

SS: It’s a long season. 82 games plus playoffs and then if you make the championship. It’s a long season, so keep your body right and do what you have to do off the court.

WO: Do you have any personal goals you hope to accomplish in your sophomore season?

SS: In terms of points, just upping my average and really doing everything I can to help my team win.