JUCO Point Guard to Play for CMU

The Central Michigan University basketball team must replace three graduating seniors, including point guard T.J. Meerman. The Chippewas might have found somebody at Kalamazoo Valley Community College to help them fill their needs at the point guard position.

George Sharp is a very happy man these days.

The freshman point guard for Kalamazoo Valley Community College is able to fulfill his dream of playing Division I college basketball, thanks to Central Michigan University, where he will be a preferred walk-on this fall.

"I'm very excited to get the opportunity to play for CMU," Sharp said. "This has been a goal of mine since I started high school."

Sharp prepped at Muskegon High School, where he led the Big Reds in scoring as a senior with 15 points per game. That 2002-03 team lost in the regional finals to eventual Class A (big school) state champion Rockford.

As a freshman at Kalamazoo Valley, Sharp started the first nine games of the season, averaging 10 points, before an injury sidelined him for a month. Sharp helped lead KVCC to an 8-1 record as the starting point guard. Kalamazoo Valley finished the year with a 22-8 record.

"George has a good attitude and works hard," KVCC head coach Dick Shilts said. "He shoots, jumps and runs the floor very well. He's great in the open court."

Sharp will be reunited at CMU with an old friend and teammate, Eddie Spencer.

"Eddie had a lot to do with me coming to CMU," Sharp said. "We played AAU ball together for the Muskegon Heights Stars before he went on to play for the Michigan Mustangs."

A 6-foot-2 guard with a 36-inch vertical leap, Sharp said he's been told he could play point guard or shooting guard for the Chippewas, although the immediate need is at the point.

"I always wanted to play for (CMU assistant and former Muskegon Heights head coach) Lamar Chapman and I've heard a lot of great things about (CMU head coach) Jay Smith in talking with (former CMU player and Muskegon native) J.R. Wallace," Sharp said.

Sharp added that he intends to move up to Mt. Pleasant June 28 and will be eligible to play immediately in the fall. He plans to major in secondary education.

"The CMU coaches expect me to come in and play hard, to show toughness," Sharp said. "I'm gonna be in a good situation."

Shilts, the former head basketball coach at Western Michigan University, said Sharp will need to improve his shot selection, defense and half-court execution to be a more effective point guard at the Division I level.

"He's a good kid, very coachable," Shilts said. "I wish him the best of luck at CMU."

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