Basketball Hidden Gem: A Player in The Works


Shown: Haneef Sharif, bottom right

Katelyn Morrow, Reporter

In basketball, you may hear about the shooting guard, the point guard, the power forward, and many more. But many may not hear about the practice players.  

The practice player is someone who practices with the team but isn’t a part of the main roster.  

Senior Haneef Sharif is one of the practice players on Blackman’s basketball team. He may not get much playing time, but he contributes many attributions to the team.   

“He got our team better by competing very hard every day at practice and that’s sometimes difficult for somebody who doesn’t think they’re going to get to play a lot,” said Coach Bell.  

Although his situation, he still has a positive attitude about being on the team. 

“Honestly it’s alright with me, as long as I’m a good team mate, and do as I’m supposed to do on the court, I’m fine with that,” said Sharif.  

There are many responsibilities that come with being a practice player. This includes getting the team ready for the court, but also making sure the team is on task.  

“I prepare my teammates for the real games, and always make sure they’re on task and do what they’re supposed to be doing,” stated Sharif.  

Even though this may be a challenging job, Haneef continues to work hard and flourish as a practice player.  

“He’s an exception, one of the handful of guys I’ve ever seen in my 35 years that could handle that situation and thrive and do a really good job as a practice player,” said Coach Bell. 

Sharif’s skills may not be shown on court, but he gives it his all during practice. He makes sure to cheer on his teammates and focus on their games. 

“He did a lot of his contributions, he’s a great team mate, he was very supportive of the other players on the floor, always knew what was going on during the games, he’s a great practice player,” said Bell. 

Even outside of practice, Haneef makes sure to help the team and be there for his teammates.  

“I’m always around my teammates even if they need anything, I’m always here for them,” stated Sharif.  

 Sharif is not enthusiastic about leaving and will miss his teammates and coaches. 

“I feel really sad honestly, you know I’m going to miss my team mates, I’m going to miss my coaches, they’re my role models, and I just don’t want to leave,” said Haneef.  

Sharif, although upset about leaving, already has a college plan. 

“I’m going to Motlow and then after that I’m going to MTSU,” stated Haneef. 

Even though Sharif will be graduating soon, the contributions and energy he brought to the team will not be forgotten.