Josh Sharma(Proximus Spirou Charleroi) Looks and Plays Like Rudy Gobert

Josh Sharma is a 24 year old 213cm center that was born in Lexington, Mass and is playing his rookie season with Proximus Spirou Charleroi (Belgium-Euromillions League). Currently he is averaging 10,0ppg, 4,5rpg and 1,2bpg in the Euromillions league and 8,2ppg, 6,4rpg and 1,5bpg in the Fiba Europe Cup. He played at Stanford form 2015-2019 playing a total of 120 NCAA games and as a senior 10.2ppg, 7.1rpg, 1.4bpg, FGP: 68.0%, FT: 67.9%. Last summer he as with the Utah Jazz (NBA Summer League in Salt Lake City) playing 2 games averaging 4.5ppg, 4.0rpg
and also played with the Utah Jazz (MGM Resorts NBA Summer League in Las Vegas) playing 3 games averaging 11.3ppg, 3.7rpg, 1.7bpg, FGP: 87.5%, FT: 66.7%. He spoke to about his basketball career before a Fiba Europe Cup game against medi Bayreuth in Bayreuth.

Josh thanks for talking to Where were you when you heard about the death of Kobe Bryant and what did he mean to you as a player?

I heard about his death after practice. We were in the locker room. I didn’t believe it at first. Kobe meant so much to me as a player and person. It was really hard taking the news. 

Welcome to Germany. Is this your first time in Germany or have you been here before and what do you know in general about the country Germany and it’s basketball? Did your ex Stanford teammate Oscar Da Silva give you the lowdown on German basketball in the two years where you were teammates?

This is my first time in Germany. I don’t know too much. My ex teammate at Stanford Oscar da Silva told me a little about the country. He did tell me that the October Fest is a must see. 

Your playing your first season for Proximus Spirou Charleroi (Belgium-Euromillions League). What kind of experience has it been playing for this club. What have you appreciated the most about your overseas experience so far?

It’s been a good year with the usual ups and downs something rookies encounter. I have taken the whole experience as a learning experience. This the first time that I have lived on my own in a foreign country. I have been very fortunate that my teammates have helped me through the process.

Proximus Spirou Charleroi (Belgium-Euromillions League has been struggling a bit so far in the country league. Is this a classic example of a club still trying to find itself with 7 new imports?

We started off the season slow, but in recent weeks have stepped it up and turned the corner. We made the cup final and beat Limburg last weekend. We are headed in the right direction and want to finish the second half strong.

How much potential do you feel does the club have? Where is the biggest strength of the team and what is the biggest part of the game that the team has to work the most on?

If we can continue to play with confidence the way we did in the last games, then we should be ok. We have to play more consistent defense.

Let’s talk a bit about your teammates. There are some experienced Americans on the team, but no one is more experienced than Belgium player Alex Hervelle. What kind of a role model has he been for you and what do you appreciate most about his game?

Alex’s maturity and knowledge has really helped me. He is a guy that always gets us going in practice. He also always competes at a high level. 

Joe Rahon is a very talented point guard, but he departed for the Fraport Skyliners. What has been your impression of new point guard Kenneth Smith? Do you feel like he is the missing piece for new success?

Joe is a great player, but speedy has really helped us out. He showed what he can bring to the table by getting a triple double in the first game. He is a guard that really is able to do everything on the floor for us. 

Let’s talk about your game. You’re a 213cm center. If you had to compare your game to an NBA player who would best fit the description?

I have heard that I look and play like Rudy Gobert. I have the game where I can score around the rim and block shots.

You’re a player that can shoot, rebound and block shots well. What other strengths does your game incorporate?

I think that my pick and roll on offense is an added strength of mine.

Nowadays more and more big men have developed a three pointer. You have taken many three’s since Stanford. Is developing an outside shot something on your to do list?

Yes that is something on my to do list. I started taking three’s at the NBA Pre draft workouts. I’m not using it as much this season, but will intend to do so and develop it further in the future. 

What do you feel is a hidden strength in your game that doesn’t always get noticed?

My jump shot. I feel that I have a nice mid range game. 

Last summer you played NBA Summer League with the Utah Jazz. You improved your scoring in each game. What kind of experience was it for you and do you feel like NBA teams noticed you?

Yes I think I did. I had something like 13 work outs with NBA teams. It was a learning experience. I got a better feel at what it takes to play at the NBA level. I did improve each game.

Did you have a cool experience from the NBA Summer League? Like meeting an NBA legend or getting some positive input from a team GM or something else?

It was nice to play for the Salt Lake City club. They had their own tournament in Salt Lake City. You felt that you were part of the Jazz organization. We were able to use their facilities. 

You played at Stanford from 2015-2019. How tough was it the first 3 years averaging 9 minutes per season twice and 13 minutes in the other season. How did your role your first three seasons prepare you for your Senior year where you had a bigger role?

I wasn’t an impact player for my first three years. I played behind guys like Reid Traves and Mike Humpfrey. 
Those guys really helped prepare for my time when I got a bigger role as a senior. Seeing their work ethic and athleticism on a daily basis really helped me.

Was your 23/18 game in the 93-86 victory over Long Beach one of your best individual performances?

I remember that game well. That was my first real good game in my senior year. I remember that I didn’t start that game or wasn’t the first guy off the bench. I came in something like with 10 minutes to play in the first half. I was very efficient in that game. 

You were teammates for two years with Oscar da Silva. He is very serious about his studies. Do you see him seriously passing up a professional basketball career for a normal high paying job?

He is a unique interesting kid. He had that special Euro swag. He was one of the smartest kids that I met at Stanford. And that is saying a lot considering how many smart kids go there. It is hard to say if he would pass up a professional basketball career for a normal job. It would have to do with what opportunities he has. But it wouldn’t surprise me if he did. He has strong interests outside basketball. 

How did you see the basketball development of Oscar da Silva? He is having a very good season and is a modern bigman that can do a little bit of everything. Could you picture him as an NBA player after 4 years at Stanford?

Yes I think so. I haven’t watched to much of him this season. He recently had a very good game against Oregon and was player of the week. He can do it all on offense. He was already doing everything for us last season. I think that if he continues to work hard and develop that he can be an NBA player. 

How did head coach Jerod Haase groom and prepare you best for a professional basketball career?

The most important thing he gave me was letting me know that I have to always continue working through ups and downs. I didn’t have a great Stanford career. I had to put in the work and wait for the right opportunities. 

Who won a one on one in practice you or Oscar da Silva?

He won on the perimeter as I don’t have the best handles and I won inside. 

Who is the toughest player that you battled in the NCAA that made the NBA?

I’m not sure.

Please list your 5 best teammates of all-time?

There are too many.

Please construct your own personal NBA Rushmore of past and present heads.

Lebron James, Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Shaq

What was the last movie that you saw?

A fall From Grace.

Thanks Josh for the chat.

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