Blake coach Derrick Sharp, a former star at USF, is leaving to take over the boys basketball program at Bishop McLaughlin.
“We are excited to have Derrick join the Bishop family,” athletic director Riczer Desvaristes said. “He built an amazing program in Hillsborough County, and we know he will do the same at Bishop.”
Derrick’s son, Emanuel, the Florida Dairy Farmers Class 5A player of the year, also is leaving Blake to join his father at Bishop McLaughlin.
“The athletic director has a vision of where he wants the program to go, and I like his vision,” Derrick said. “I think it’s a chance to build a great program.”
After graduating from USF, Derrick had a 16-year professional career, most notably with Maccabi Tel Aviv. His wife, Justine, also played 10 years overseas. Two other sons — DJ and Gabriel — are on professional or high school teams. Gabriel is currently a senior at Tampa Prep.
After retiring as a player in 2011, Derrick got into coaching. He became an assistant for Maccabi Tel Aviv under David Blatt, who coached the Cleveland Cavaliers from 2014-16.
Two years later, Derrick and his family decided to return to the Tampa Bay area. He tried to get into scouting at the NBA level but had no luck. So Derrick focused on coaching in the high school ranks.
In 2015, the job at Blake was open. Jesse Salters, the school’s athletic director at the time, encouraged Derrick to apply. The two were USF teammates who became roommates for a few months when they played in Israel.
After winning a combined five games in his first three seasons, Derrick made steady improvement with the Yellow Jackets. This past season, Blake went 22-6 and made the playoffs for the first time since 2011 with an at-large bid in Class 5A. Derrick was named the coach of the year in the Western Conference’s American Division.
Emanuel, named the 5A player of the year, finished as the state’s fourth-leading scorer and ranked among the top 20 in the nation with an average of 31.9 points per game as a sophomore this past season.
They will try to turn around a Bishop McLaughlin program that went 2-22 this past season.