Creighton offered a scholarship to former Omaha Burke guard Shereef Mitchell on Monday — his first power conference offer and the one he was waiting for.
Now the captain of The World-Herald’s All-Nebraska basketball team just has to decide whether to accept it.
“I have been working really hard for this and it shows that hard work pays off and to never give up,” Mitchell said.
Mitchell was the Nebraska Gatorade boys basketball player of the year last season after averaging 24.6 points and 3.8 assists as a senior at Burke.
Regardless of what Mitchell decides, he won’t be heading to college until 2019, even though he graduated from Burke in May. He reclassified and plans to spend a postgraduate year at Sunrise Christian Academy in Bel Aire, Kansas. The 6-foot-1 guard turned 18 this month, so he is young for his grade, and by reclassifying he will enroll at the college of his choosing in the fall of 2019.
“Creighton has been my dream school for a while,” said Mitchell, who has thrived in up-tempo offenses since his youth. “It is a great school and they send players to the NBA and I feel like I can fit really well in their playing style and to be the next great guard there.”
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Before heading to Sunrise Christian, Mitchell will play the next three weeks for Omaha Sports Academy’s 17-and-under Gauntlet team in the NCAA live recruiting periods.
“Shereef is clearly a very high-level player,” said Andy King, coach of OSA 17U Gauntlet. “What is even more impressive is his phenomenal character. It’s not easy to play with a new team after reclassifying, but his leadership, effort and unselfishness has been fantastic for the other guys on the team.”
The Mitchell name is well-known in Omaha basketball circles. Shereef is a third-generation starter in the Metro Conference. Grandfather Alvin Mitchell Sr. was Omaha Central’s point guard when it was state runner-up in 1967. Shereef’s father, Alvin Mitchell Jr., was All-Nebraska at Burke in 1995 and went on to play for Nebraska and Cincinnati.
“In our family, from every generation, basketball has been instilled at a young age,” said Alvin Jr., who runs Omaha AAU program Team Nebraska Express. “Everyone grew up with a basketball in their hand with all of us. Basketball was always a thing for fun in our family unless the talent was there. If the talent was there we would take it from there.”
Alvin Jr. said his son has always wanted a Creighton offer. “To watch him and dedicate himself to the things that Creighton wanted him to do is a testament to his character and how humble he is.”
A conversation with Creighton coach Greg McDermott after his high school season motivated Mitchell.
“They wanted to see me gain weight and shoot for a higher percentage from the 3-point line,” he said. “I have been working at Elkhorn Training Center on my strength and I’m in the gym every day working on my shooting. It has paid off.”
As of now, Creighton is set to have a senior in Davion Mintz and a sophomore in Marcus Zegarowski at the point guard position in 2019-20.
Beyond blessed to say that I have received an offer from Creighton!🐦🔵⚪️ pic.twitter.com/UuE4AcIVTc— Reef (@MitchellShereef) July 11, 2018