Yellow-and-blue legend Sharp calls it a career

39-year-old guard considered extending his career by one season, but decided to call it a day, take Maccabi offer to work as assistant coach.

Maccabi Tel Aviv's Derrick Sharp 311 (photo credit: Asaf Kliger)
Maccabi Tel Aviv's Derrick Sharp 311
(photo credit: Asaf Kliger)
Derrick Sharp announced his retirement on Wednesday, bringing to an end the career of one of the greatest symbols in Maccabi Tel Aviv history.
The 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.
“Maccabi 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 read.
“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.
However, 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.
Team 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 European cups.
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.
“He was the perfect captain. Derrick led us to many unforgettable experiences and I’m sure he will continue to do so in his new role.”