Grant Sherfield might be Wichita’s best-kept secret as a basketball prospect.
The 6-foot-2 guard is a unanimous four-star prospect in the class of 2019 and signed with UCLA this past fall. But he was released from his letter of intent when coach Steve Alford was fired earlier this season.
Sherfield is one of the most talented players Wichita has recently produced, but few people in the city know about him because he moved to the Fort Worth area before his sixth-grade year and blossomed into one of the nation’s top prospects there.
Now, Sherfield has returned for his senior high school season to play for a national powerhouse at Sunrise Christian Academy in Bel Aire. With his recruiting wide open, Wichita State has entered the picture and is pushing to keep Sherfield in Wichita longer.
“Most of my family is still here and I’ve always been a Wichita State fan,” Sherfield told The Eagle. “From Malcolm Armstead to Joe Ragland to Fred VanVleet. I think it would be great to play in front of the hometown fans.”
WSU has certainly made an impression on him since his recruiting re-opened. He has been to Koch Arena several times before, but he still came away impressed after an unofficial visit to WSU on Feb. 23 for the Memphis game.
“I haven’t seen Koch Arena in that effect in a really long time,” Sherfield said. “That was crazy. You could barely hear yourself talk.”
WSU coach Gregg Marshall and assistants Isaac Brown and Tyson Waterman took advantage of the road trip to SMU on Sunday by stopping by Saturday for an in-home visit with Sherfield’s parents, who still reside in the Fort Worth area.
Sherfield has taken an official visit to Minnesota, where former WSU assistant Kyle Lindsted has taken the recruiting lead for the Gophers. Lindsted is a long-time family friend and helped place Sherfield at Sunrise this season. Sherfield is also taking an official visit to Wake Forest and plans on using a fourth official visit to WSU in the coming weeks.
“We had a great time talking with Gregg, a really good time,” Antione Sherfield said. “Wichita State is very intriguing to Grant. If you look at (Marshall’s) track record and what he’s been able to do in the 12 years at Wichita State, putting guys in the league, a Final Four appearance, the 35-0 season, his graduation rate. Grant really likes all of that stuff.”
The allure of playing in Wichita is strong, but Grant Sherfield is determined to find the best basketball fit. He is confident he can make an immediate impact, so ideally he would like to go somewhere he can play right away. The bond with the coach is also important because he will be an extension of the coach on the court as the point guard.
Sherfield has a history of filling up the basket. In Texas, at North Crowley, Sherfield broke the program’s all-time record for three-pointers in a season (132) and a game (nine) last season. Now he’s leading Sunrise, a team stocked with Division I talent, in scoring at 15.7 points, including 38-percent accuracy on threes, to go along with 3.4 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game.
“What’s so great about Grant is that he’s great with or without the ball,” Sunrise coach Luke Barnwell said. “He can play the pick-and-roll game or he can catch outside of the pick-and-roll or on the roll-up on the throw-behind. He’s got the feel, he’s got the touch, he’s got the IQ and he just knows how to play the game.”
That feel has made Sherfield particularly deadly on pick-and-rolls, which is why nearly every college, including WSU, envisions Sherfield running the offense. He is an above-average shooter with deceptive quickness and a strong foundation that allows him to finish at the rim.
It appears Marshall is trying to stockpile as many offensive weapons at the point of attack as possible for next season, as WSU already has a pair of guards signed in its 2019 recruiting class in four-star combo guard Tyson Etienne and three-star point guard Noah Fernandes. Sherfield would give the Shockers another scoring punch.
“He can score it in his sleep,” Antione Sherfield said. “I think his playmaking ability has been overshadowed by his scoring, though. He has the ability to make others around him better with his passing, too.”
Regardless of where Grant Sherfield decides to go to college, he said his return to the Wichita area this season has been fun.
He grew up playing on the same summer teams as former Southeast standouts Jerrick Harding and Israel Barnes. He attended school at Coleman Middle School and played pick-up games at the North YMCA. It’s been refreshing to return to the place where he has so many childhood memories.
“It was really nice to spend Thanksgiving and Christmas with all of my family,” Sherfield said. “That’s the first time that’s happened in five or six years.”
Sherfield could be the next Wichita guard to star for the Shockers after Conner Frankamp and Samajae Haynes-Jones stayed home and had successful stints.
“The city loves Shocker basketball,” Barnwell said. “What’s crazy is that they’re not as good as they have been in the years past and they’re still sold out. That’s Shocker basketball. That’s why kids are always going to want to go there and play at a place like that because it means something to the people here. I think that’s going to be attractive to any kid.”