Local Sports, Morgantown, Sports

Morgantown’s Sharron Young wins Evans Award as state’s most outstanding player

MORGANTOWN — After hitting the go-ahead shot in overtime to help Morgantown win its third-straight Class AAAA state title, there was very little left for senior point guard Sharron Young to accomplish in his high school career. 

Young played in four state championships, won three of them, was named back-to-back captain of the all-state first team and broke the all-time scoring record at Morgantown High.

All that was left on Young’s checklist was to win Morgantown High’s first basketball player of the year award. 

Consider that box checked off as Young has been named the 2024 Evans Award winner as the state’s most outstanding boys basketball player, selected by the West Virginia Sportswriters Association.

“It’s been a goal that I’ve had for the last couple of years,” Young said. “I just want to thank God for allowing me to get that done. And I want to thank Coach (Dave) Tallman and my teammates for contributing to that award also.”

The award is named after former Fairmont Times sports editor Bill Evans and has been awarded annually since 1970. The 2024 Evans Award is sponsored by Par Mar Stores.

Young, who will suit up for Division-I Akron next year, averaged 21.5 points, 7.0 rebounds, 6.7 assists and 5.9 steals for the Mohigans this season. He recorded multiple triple-doubles throughout the year.

“Not only did he have the talent, but he had the drive, the work ethic, the character,” MHS coach Dave Tallman said. “Teammates love him, coaches love him, teachers love him, he’s just an all-around special person.”

Young broke Morgantown’s all-time scoring record in February, a record that stood for nearly 70 years, since Jay Jacobs set it in 1956. Young blew past Jacobs’ mark of 1,268 and established the Mohigans’ new career record at 1,496 points.

The way Young tells it, he was basically born with a basketball in his hands. 

“My mom always tells me my first word was ‘ball,’” he said. “I was always dribbling around the house, always bouncing the ball, always wanting to shoot when my grandma came over. … I had one of those little (hoops) and always wanted to take it with me wherever I went.”

Young’s high school legacy will be tied to the state tournament, where he played in all 12 possible games over his four-year career, going 11-1. The lone loss came in his freshman season in the state championship by one point to George Washington.

“I walked off the court (after that game) and my uncle said to just always remember that feeling,” Young said. “Ever since, I’ve always remembered that losing feeling, especially losing the state championship by one.”

Young never experienced that feeling again as he led MHS to three-straight Class AAAA state championships. The Mohigans went 94-9 during Young’s four-year career.

In that championship loss in 2021, Young watched GW’s Ben Nichol hit the game-winning shot with 12 seconds left. Three years later, Young hit his own championship winner, a three-pointer with 30 seconds left in overtime that put the Mohigans up 33-32.

“That shot to put us up was pretty crazy,” Young said. “A lot of people have been asking me about it and I’m lucky, grateful and blessed to be able to do that.”

Young was 0-5 from three up to that point in what he said was one of the hardest games to score he’s ever played in.

“I’m thankful to my teammates and coaches for trusting me and allowing me to put the final shot up,” Young said.

That trust from his coaches and teammates came from four years of hard work he’s put into the MHS program.

“It’s unreal,” Tallman said of Young’s work ethic. “Even when he broke his hand (last season), he was still in the gym practicing and he was going left-handed every day. I remember going in on a Sunday with my son to come get shots and I walked in and heard the music on and Sharron’s in the gym with his grandfather just sweating his butt off. … He’s just a relentless worker.”

Whenever Young wanted to work, his grandfather, Jambie Giambrone, was always there to help him.

“That’s my right-hand man,” Young said. “He does whatever I ask. Whenever I want to come to the gym at night, in the morning, he always brings me. He’s either rebounding or he helps me set up the gym and we’re in here for an hour or two.” 

Tallman joked that if Young is Morgantown’s all-time leading scorer, Giambrone must be the school’s all-time leading rebounder with how often he corralled Young’s shots in practice.

“We’ve got a really strong bond,” Young said. “It’s going to be tough for both of us; I moved here at a young age, and it’s going to be tough for me to move to Akron for a bit.”

Young is going from one winning program to another as Akron has gone 109-47 over the last five years, with four 20-win seasons and two NCAA Tournament appearances.

“Walking out of (MHS) for the last time is definitely going to be tough,” Young said. “My spring is going to be working out probably every day getting my body ready for Akron. I head out of here on June 2.”

When Young does walk out of Morgantown High for the final time, Tallman believes he will do so as the school’s all-time best player.

“I think the best players here than have come before him would tell you he’s got the best career,” Tallman said. “I think they would all tell you that his high school resume is unmatched. … And the thing is, those guys all love him. They have a good relationship with him so I don’t think there would be any ill-will for me to say he’s the best player that’s played here.”

Other finalists for the Evans Award included Caleb Thomas of Spring Mills, Jayallen Turner of Charleston Catholic, Zycheus Dobbs of Fairmont Senior, Ammar Maxwell of Shady Spring and Aiden Davis of Wheeling Park.

Young will be recognized at the 77th-annual Victory Awards Dinner on May 5 at River City in Wheeling.

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