Derrick Sharp announced his retirement on Wednesday, bringing to an end the
career of one of the greatest symbols in Maccabi Tel Aviv history.
39-year-old guard had considered extending his playing career by one more
season, but eventually decided to call it a day and take Maccabi’s offer to work
under David Blatt as an assistant coach alongside Guy Goodes.
considers Derrick Sharp a symbol and a role model and is certain that thanks to
his extraordinary talents he will continue to contribute to the team in his new
job, installing values of excellence and dedication,” a Maccabi press release
“Maccabi’s management would like to thank Derrick Sharp from the
bottom of its heart for 15 dream seasons.”
No one could have predicted
Sharp’s success with the yellow-and-blue when the Orlando, Florida native joined
Tel Aviv in 1996 from seconddivision club Betar Migdal Ha’emek.
he soon became an integral part of the roster and continued to play a key role
off the court even when he saw little action in recent seasons.
captain for the last couple of years, Sharp, who also played for the Israel
national team, won a total of 13 Israeli championships, 11 State Cups and three
He is ranked 85th among the BSL’s all-time scorers with
2,664 points in 15 seasons.
In 2008, he was chosen by the Euroleague as
one of Maccabi’s 13 greatest symbols, but he will be remembered first and
foremost for one moment in April 2004.
With Maccabi on the verge of
losing to Zalgiris Kaunas at Nokia Arena and missing out on the Euroleague Final
Four on its home-court, Sharp hit an incredible three-pointer to tie the game as
the buzzer sounded, a basket which not only forced overtime, but eventually
resulted in back-to-back Euroleague titles for Tel Aviv.
“I remember when
Derrick first came to us from Migdal Ha’emek. He captured our heart
immediately,” Maccabi chairman Shimon Mizrahi said.
“He is one of our
greatest ever players. An incredible winner and a true Maccabist.
the perfect captain. Derrick led us to many unforgettable experiences and
I’m sure he will continue to do so in his new role.”