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Catching up with Sheriff Drammeh

“There’s a new sheriff in town” might be an overused idiom, but it is quite fitting for the University of Hawai’i basketball team and sophomore guard Sheriff Drammeh.

A year ago at this time, Drammeh was a wide-eyed freshman from Sweden, relegated to a learning role while surrounded by veteran teammates. Now Drammeh finds himself in a veteran position, battling for a leading role with the 2016-17 Warriors.

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“My mentality has changed in just the way I have to be more of a leader right now,” he said. “Last year we had a lot of returning guys and this year we only have five. Basically, I just have to lead by example.”

By the end of last season, Drammeh emerged as a key reserve – even if primarily as a defensive specialist – on the record-setting 28-6 squad. This preseason, he is being groomed as a point guard.

“I’m looking at that as a challenge, just because it’s so different,” he said. “I’ve never played at the point guard position on this level before. Last year, I played both the 2 and 3, but not with the ball in my hand that much.”

During the summer, Drammeh gained international experience as a starting guard for Sweden’s U20 national team.

“It was a great experience, playing against great countries, great players back home in Europe,” he said. “Gaining confidence, getting more experience.”

Given that the Warriors are in search of new starters at all five positions, Drammeh will likely have to play a vital role, whether as a starter, reserve, point guard or shooting guard.

“This year is going to prove how good I am at leading,” he said. “Now I just have to lead the 10 newcomers to make sure that everybody’s on the same page. I think it’s going to be fun.”

Drammeh became a fan-favorite last season, thanks in part to his uncanny ability to draw opposing players into charging fouls. It is an aspect of his game that he plans to bring back, along with his celebratory dance moves.

“It’s a momentum changer, so it feels good,” he said. “Our whole team is always getting me excited after I do that, and I’m trying to get them pumped up, too. It’s a good feeling.”

2 Comments

  1. When i Remember HOW MUCH Last Year’s Players Improved in their First (and Only) Season under This Staff,
    P-O-Y Janks, Night-and-Day-Q, Pre-and-Post-Season-M.Thomas…Consider The Form, Fit & Function of a “Returning”
    1) Sheriff Drammeh–Took Over Swedish National Team, Leading Scorer And Playmaker;
    2) Jack Purchase–Aussie Hall-of-Fame Genes, Size and Skill;
    ———————
    3) Mike Thomas–Returning Starter, Redshirt, Smarts, Physicality and Skills,
    4) Brocke Stepteau–Overcoming ‘All-the-Challenges’ and Short-Comings;
    5) Zach Buscher–Local Poster-Child with A Following & Fan Section,
    ———————
    The Rest, First-Years RECRUITED By This Staff
    Already Bought-In, Arriving With Sought After Attitude, Skills & Abilities…

  2. A lot of our success was due to having a true point guard like Rod. Without a true point guard, we may have a hard time getting into our offense. Hopefully Sheriff can improve his ball handling skills so he can run the point or at least give us some depth at the position.

    If you look at prior warrior teams, we’d have trouble breaking presses or withstanding guard pressure without the true point guard so we’ll see how it goes. I have faith in Eran’s offense, but ball-handling is key.

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