How UCLA Commit Grant Sherfield made his Dream a Reality
A dream is defined as “a cherished aspiration, ambition or ideal.” Often times they are spoken of in a far off rhetoric, that doesn’t even BEGIN to describe the sacrifice and commitment it takes to make it real. The time. The frustration. The pain. The let down. The focus. Things North Crowley Junior guard Grant Sherfield is all too familiar with. No one is immune to the ups and downs of the process. The numbers facing student athletes fighting for division 1 scholarships seem impossible. The odds of getting offered by your dream school are astronomical. Yet, this driven young man worked until the odds were in his favor. Now, he’s at the cusp of making it all a reality. But nothing worth having comes easy.
Grant’s parents Antoine and Kimberly met at Langston University where Antoine played on the basketball team. Antoine, a California native was a high school stand out in high and was always a familiar face around the L.A. hoop scene. Even competing in the legendary Drew League. After college the couple relocated to Wichita, KS to start a family. It’s safe to say Grant has basketball in his DNA. He stood out even as an elementary school player. His skills were always advanced in comparison to peers. This might have been expected as his father cultivated the passion to work hard very early on. Hours in the gym perfecting his craft. Meticulously working on technique, pushing through fatigue with the understanding that this is the only way it should be done. The youngster soaked it up and now it’s a staple of his personality. Even now on game day, Sherfield can be found hours beforehand working out… not getting shots up…WORKING OUT. As a child he was given the gift that would be there for him at the hard times, to carry him to the finish line. Grind.
THE STAGE IS SET
Growing up in Wichita meant dominating basketball in almost any setting. As Sherfield grew and became more dominant, his parents were forced to find more competition and a bigger stage. This meant relocating to the Dallas area. It was immediately apparent the competition level was what they were looking for. The DFW metroplex was a hot bed of talent in the 2019 class, and it took no time at all for the area’s top teams to notice the kid from Kansas. His very polished game stood out even among all the talent. The poise and swagger with which he played made him one of the most sought after players in the city. What better place for him to play than with the other top prospects in Dallas?
At the beginning of his 8th grade year Sherfield found a perfect fit. Looking back it was one of the most loaded teams you’ll ever see. Battling alongside Tyrese Maxey, Devion Harmon, Jalen Wilson and Chris Harris was where he belonged. He had taken his place as one of the best in the nation. That memorable Team Texas Elite squad spent much of the spring dominating playing up in the 15u division, setting the group up for an unprecedented high school career.
As the summer approached Team Texas Elite continued to roll over competition and gain exposure. Grant continued to display a skill set and maturity beyond his years, as he consistently dominates older players. His name grew game by game. That’s when the opportunity of a lifetime came his way.
Riddled with injuries Marcus Smart’s YGC36 was in need of a guard with the ability to compete in the Adidas Gauntlet with their 16u squad. A tall task for an 8th grader for sure but head coach Vonzell Thomas knew immediately the youngster would be up to the task. “First time I was able to see Grant play was in the Hype Sports Tournament. I have a very good eye for talent and I was sold from just warmups .. game started and he knocked down 2 consecutive 3s from the right wing and later in the 1st he knocked down one from the left wing . I knew then I liked the kid a lot! About a month or so later the opportunity presented itself and it was perfect timing for both parties,” said Thomas. Just like that Sherfield’s high school career began.
Playing on a shoe circuit team is no easy task. Especially playing up 2 years! 8th grade summer was eye opening for Sherfield. He played well for YGC and was able to gain experience and contribute valuable minutes that first summer. One thing became apparent… Various aspects of the game at this level have NOTHING to do with skill. In these aspects you are competing with some of the best athletes in the U.S. on a shoe circuit. So despite having an amazing skill set Grant found that the physical preparation meant so much more at this level. Every possession being defended by an elite athlete can minimize the skill of a player. As a middle schooler he was forced to face the fact that his preparation regime needed to take on a new facet. He knew to be successful on the biggest stage he would have to become stronger and more explosive.
Going into his freshman year his experience on the circuit proved invaluable. He took off on an impressive season for his school as only a freshman. As a 9th grader he got the best of some of the state’s top D1 prospects, and managed to be one of the top scorers in the area! He was primed for a big summer. He would be the only freshman on a Gauntlet squad with all juniors. Even so, he averaged 20.5 ppg 4 asst 2 reb!! His outstanding play led to lots of interest nationally and his first offer, which came from San Diego. He had developed into a leader and his competitiveness was contagious. After a successful summer that ended with an offer from blue blood UCLA, Sherfield buried himself in his grind. Determined to have a dominant sophomore season. This time adding strength/speed/agility training to his program. The results were undeniable as he came back a turned up version of his freshman self! Finishing at the rim, bullying smaller defenders and going around bigger ones were tools he refined as a sophomore. He helped his school team reach the playoffs before a disappointing early exit. This heartbreak may have been what ignited his fire as he began summer ball.
YGC 36 had recently picked up 4 star wing Jalen Wilson, who Sherfield had played with in middle school and Team Texas Elite. The 2 sophomores would be the anchors for a stout 17u squad that included several of Dallas’ top 2018 prospects. Early into the Gauntlet, Wilson went down with an injury that would leave him sidelined nearly the whole summer. While this was a huge blow for the squad… Sherfield stepped up and carried the load for YGC averaging 21.8 ppg in the Gauntlet turning even more heads. Offers poured in from all over the country. Even though he was fielding offers from powerhouses like Alabama, LSU and Kansas…he could see the puzzle coming together. While he had several big time opportunities within his reach but UCLA would be a homecoming of sorts for the Sherfields. The “gift” began yielding the fruits of all the labor. Grant couldn’t ask for a bigger stage to showcase his abilities. After much discussion and thought with his family and Coach Thomas, he committed.
THE DRIVE FOR GREATNESS
As he continues to develop his athleticism (to an already strong frame), his offensive prowess will continue to become more evident. Sherfield has always been a great shooter from beyond the arc. This season has been no different. He’s also really developed his ability get to the soft spot of the defense and knock down the mid range pull up with consistency. This is definitely the most improved facet of his offensive arsenal and will continue to elevate his effectiveness. Grant has had several 30+ point performances for the North Crowley Panthers already this year. So far in the 17-18 season Sherfield is averaging 25 points per game and 4 assists. His high being 44 points versus crosstown rival Crowley High School.
With everything he had worked for in front of him for the taking it would be easy to fall back. Take it easy. Take a day off. This isn’t in Sherfield’s character. As a junior he is again one of the leading high school scorers in the state. You can still find him working out hours before a game. He is STILL obsessed on becoming quicker, stronger and more explosive. It doesn’t stop for him. His relentless work ethic draws parallels to Kobe’s insane drive to be great. There is no telling how far this “gift” will take him, but you can be sure Grant Sherfield will be prepared for whatever the game throws his way.
— Daymond Patterson II (@DP2Nice) December 13, 2017
— Daymond Patterson II (@DP2Nice) December 11, 2017