Indo-Canadian basketball prodigy Ishan Sharma is set to move south of the border to play for the University of Virginia next year. The highly touted 6’5 shooting guard, who is a member of the class of ’24 at the Fort Erie International Academy in Fort Erie, Ontario, announced his commitment on social media on October 21. The Cavaliers had offered him a scholarship just the week before.
The rising senior year has already represented Canada in multiple international FIBA tournaments.
Sharma’s shooting prowess caught the attention of Cavaliers Coach Tony Bennett and his staff during the Nike EYBL Peach Jam this summer, as reported by SI.com. During this summer’s EYBL circuit, he demonstrated an impressive ability to sink shots from beyond the arc, maintaining a remarkable success rate of nearly 45% for UPLAY Canada.
According to SI, Sharma had recently visited UVA. He expressed his excitement by posting, ‘Blessed to receive an offer from the University of Virginia,’ on his X account on October 16 after the visit.
Blessed to receive an offer from the University of Virginia 🙏🏼 pic.twitter.com/9HbVm5XKPH
— Ishan.S (@Ishan_sharma0) October 16, 2023
He reportedly also received offers from Cavaliers’ in-state rival Virginia Tech, as well as Seton Hall, Arizona State, Rice, Indiana State, Wyoming, Northern Illinois, Marist, Maine and Eastern Michigan, among other schools.
With Sharma adding a formidable shooting presence, he and the Cavaliers could be a great match, says a college basketball expert.
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“Poor perimeter shooting has doomed the Wahoos in recent seasons, so it’s encouraging that UVA has locked down an elite shooter for 2024,” writes Zach Carey of Streaking the Lawn, which covers Virginia basketball and football. “If there’s one thing Sharma does well, it’s shoot the ball. He’ll be a very good catch-and-shoot threat who Bennett and his staff can scheme open looks for, like they have for their best shooters over the years. He’s also displayed the ability to hit shots off the dribble, indicating that his offensive game could expand beyond the perimeter in time.”
Another longtime Virginia sports analyst expressed equal enthusiasm about Sharma.
Jerry Ratcliffe, who covers Virginia Athletics, highlighted Sharma’s “reputation as a dangerous perimeter shooter” and noted that he “has an extended game.”
Ratcliffe also quoted Josh Millican, a Canadian basketball recruiting analyst who hosts the podcast ‘Maple Minute,’ describing Sharma as a ‘hidden gem.’
‘Ishan is under the radar in terms of American ranking systems. I can tell you he is one of the top five prospects in all of Canada,’ according to Millican.
“He’s unbelievable with the ball in his hands,” Millican said of Sharma, according to Ratcliffe. “He’s a three-level scorer but doesn’t dribble excessively. He’s a tactical playmaker in the sense that he’s not beating guys with sheer will or athleticism… he’s thinking the game, finding your weaknesses, and exposing them. He’s thinking two, three plays ahead and can’t be rattled by trash-talking.”
The Cavaliers, an ACC powerhouse, won their first NCAA championship in the 2018-2019 season by defeating Texas Tech in the championship game.
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