NOTE TO READERS: I apologize but there will be no “Ten at 10″ Thursday. I am having to take a short medical leave for the rest of this week (nothing serious, just something I’ve been needing to take care of for a while). So like last week when I was out of the loop, AJC high schools reporter Michael Carvell will be keeping an eye on all things recruiting. Check his Prep Zone Blog daily for updates. I anticipate everything getting back to normal and providing multiple daily updates next week.
Great shooters are either born or made. Sherrard Brantley likes to think he’s a little of both.
Brantley first felt the thrill of the swish as 4-year-old growing up in Dublin. His father was a big basketball fan and, as long as Brantley can remember, there was a goal in the backyard.
“Ever since he taught me how to hold a basketball that’s how long I’ve been shooting it,” Brantley said.
And he kept shooting and shooting and shooting.
Eventually Brantley helped shoot Dublin High to the state championship and he shot himself into Panhandle Conference freshman of the year honors this past season at Northwest Florida College. now Brantley hopes to shoot himself into the lineup at the University of Georgia.
The 6-foot-2 guard signed a letter-of-intent with the Bulldogs on Wednesday, the first day of the spring signing period. Also signing with UGA on Wednesday was Miller Grove’s 6-9 forward Donte Williams, the Class AAAA player of the year. They join Cady Lalanne of Orlando in the Bulldogs’ class of 2010.
A late qualifier, Brantley did not garner a lot of recruiting notice his senior year at Dublin. But after making 113 3-pointers and shooting 43.7 percent in his first season at NWF major colleges came calling. Brantley chose the Bulldogs over LSU and Creighton, among several others.
“It kind of came natural for me but, I mean, I put a lot of work into it, too,” Brantley said. “Growing up, all I ever wanted to do was go outside and shoot the basketball. I’d shoot outside all times of the day and night, shoot in the gym every chance I could,. Just playing a lot. I just try to put up a lot of shots and practice whenever I can.”
That’s one of the things Brantley said he likes about Georgia’s situation with its practice facility. It has a key-code and fingerprint security system that allows players to use the gym to work on their games as much as they like.
“It stays open all day and all night,” he said. “I’ll probably just stay in there now.”
Brantley said he feels relaxed and confident now that the recruiting process is officially over for him. He did not make a big production of his signing nor do any special celebrating after it was over.
“I just got up, went to eat breakfast and went in to [the basketball office] to sign my letter,” he said.
And then, of course, put up some shots.