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Articles > Sharp: "I wish everyone could see what Israel is really like."

When Derrick Sharp completed his playing days at the University of South Florida, his entire starting five went over to play in Israel. He has been there for the past 12 years, the last 10 with Maccabi Tel Aviv.

Sharp, an African-American, became a naturalized Israeli citizen, and spent 2000-2003 as a member of the Israeli National Team. "It was a privilege to be part of that team," he said of the experience. "I was honored that they wanted me to play, and I had a great time."

When a reporter asked him during the Orlando visit where "home" is, he replied, "That's a good question! I grew up in Orlando. I played in Tampa. My wife is from Canada. And I've been in Israel for the past 12 years."

The 34 year old figures he has 4-5 good years left in him, and would love to finish out his career with Maccabi. He might even stay in Israel when his playing days are over. "Living in Israel has definitely broadened my outlook. I love it over there. My mom has come to visit, she loves it too. We aren't concerned about the safety issue that is mostly media hype, what they show you on TV. I wish everyone could come over here and see what it is really like."

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