College decision on hold for prep star (Basketball)

October 28, 2010
Damon Newsome

Bartlett High School basketball star Damon Sherman-Newsome isn’t sweating next month’s NCAA Early Signing Period.

With only one college offer as of today, the 17-year-old Alaska player-of-the-year candidate figures he’ll play out his senior season and see what shakes out. In a way he is playing for a scholarship much like a pro player in a contract year plays for a payday.

“Yeah, you could compare it to that,” he told me.

A lot of the coaches interested in him want to see how his final year goes before committing, a regular occurrence in the shrewd world of college recruiting. He will try not to let it influence the way he plays the game.

“It’s a lot to think about,” Sherman-Newsome said. “The main focus is still going to be winning. I’m not going to force it. Coaches told me they want me to dominate but at the same time winning a championship is dominating.”

The 6-foot-4 swingman hasn’t had a problem dominating in Alaska.

The all-state stud is a double-double waiting to happen, a load in the low post that can score and rebound better than any other high school player in Alaska.

This year though he is planning to play more guard, a position that will allow him to showcase his improved ball-handling skills. Proving he’s got handles should make him more attractive to college coaches because at his size he had better be able to dribble the ball.

“That’s something I need to do, for sure,” Sherman-Newsome said.

He got plenty of experience at the guard position over the summer when he played for an AAU team based out of Seattle. He played in more than 30 games, including five tournaments; the team won three of them.

“Every year when I play out of state I play guard,” Sherman-Newsome said. “Here, I’m usually one of the biggest guys so I’m always in the post.”

He actually prefers to be in the backcourt.

“I love being a playmaker,” he said.

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