It's tradition for former UNC men's basketball players to return to Chapel Hill each summer and play pick-up with the team. But amidst the numerous games of pick-up in Chapel Hill, which saw the likes of Coby White and Cameron Johnson stop by, some pro Tar Heels are having a busy offseason competing in the NBA Summer League, playing for Team USA and navigating new trades.
Here is a look at a few Tar Heels currently in action in the NBA Summer League competition in Las Vegas.
Day’Ron Sharpe started off his career at North Carolina as only the fourth Tar Heel to record a double-double in their debut game. After averaging 9.5 points and 7.6 rebounds per game as a first-year, Sharpe declared for the 2021 NBA Draft. The Phoenix Suns drafted Sharpe as the No. 29 overall pick and soon after traded his draft rights to the Brooklyn Nets.
After appearing in 32 games for the Nets this season, Sharpe is playing on their summer league team to gain more experience at the professional level. In his first game this summer, he finished with 8 points and 10 rebounds. Currently, he leads the team in player efficiency rating and total rebounding percentage.
Sharpe also made headlines this week with a poster-worthy dunk in Sunday’s game against the Philadelphia 76ers.
During UNC’s NCAA Tournament run this past season, all eyes were on Brady Manek, the sharp-shooting 6-foot-9 graduate transfer from the University of Oklahoma. Manek averaged just over 15 points per game and led the team in 3-point shooting percentage with a 40.3 percent clip.
After going undrafted in the 2022 NBA Draft, Manek stayed close by, signing with the Charlotte Hornets to play on their summer league team. Recently, Manek made a mark in the Hornets’ double-overtime victory against the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday, shooting 3-9 from the field and scoring 8 points in just 12 minutes.