SEATTLE — This time last year, Archbishop Murphy High School graduate Brendan Sherrer was just another University of Washington freshman going to basketball games on Saturday nights.
He spent many a weekend painting his chest and standing in the front row behind the Huskies’ bench, and never once did Sherrer wonder what it might be like to be even closer to the action.
This season, he will.
The 6-foot-9 sophomore recently beat out 11 other candidates to earn the right to be a walk-on with the Huskies. Sherrer will practice with the team and dress for games, and, should UW be winning a game handily, he might even see scraps of playing time.
“It’s a dream-come-true,” Sherrer said on Tuesday. “Everything happened so fast. I still can’t wrap my head around it. Playing basketball in college, for a Division I program, that’s what every high school player wants to do.”
Sherrer (pronounced SHARE) is about as unlikely a Pac-10 player as you’ll find. He didn’t start playing basketball until his sophomore year of high school, and despite earning most-improved-player honors three years in a row, he never developed into much of a prospect.
After receiving interest from Whitworth University and a few junior colleges, Sherrer decided to give up basketball and concentrate on a future in dentistry. But when UW coach Lorenzo Romar invited students to attend a walk-on tryout, the sophomore decided to give it a go.
Now he’ll spend many an afternoon playing against UW big men like Matthew Bryan-Amaning and Darnell Gant.
“He’s physical,” Romar said Tuesday. “He’s a sophomore, so he has time to grow for us. He’s pretty quick to be 6-9.”
But Romar didn’t let his praise get too carried away. He added that Sherrer “is not the next Jon Brockman.”
Nor does he expect to be.
“My job is to make the other players better,” Sherrer said. “I’m a role player, and I do whatever the coach tells me to do.”
This year, the coach will be telling Sherrer more than just cheer the Huskies on from the student section.