De’Ron Sharp instinctively nodded under the door and looked around the apartment. The shape is a straight vertical line with two bedrooms and a bathroom on the left; Another bedroom and bathroom to the right; And in front of it was the kitchen, living room, and balcony that opened to bright light through large windows.

It didn’t matter when this new downtown Brooklyn building was still covered in dust. It didn’t matter that he just took the elevator with insulation on the walls and plywood on the floor. It didn’t matter whether the construction team left the stairs and water bottles in the living room or whether the fire alarm alerted a low battery every 60 seconds. The important thing was that he could imagine being at home in this apartment.

Sharpe was only an hour out of an hour looking for a home and is now acting like a New York apartment buyer for the rest of his life. He ignored the apartment’s shortcomings and focused instead on its features. He smiled and said, “Oh, yes.”

When most people enter the labor market, at least someone has a say in where they will live. But that’s not the case with elite NBA candidates like Sharp, a 1,265-pound center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The Phoenix Suns picked Sharp for the 29th pick in the NBA Draft in July and traded his rights to the Nets. And the following month the calendar was full of cities. He first flew to New York to complete his sports training and signed his contract. He then returned to North Carolina to pack for the Las Vegas Summer League. He spent most of August in Nevada before stopping again in North Carolina on his way back to New York.

It was August 28 and 19 year old Sharpe had to find an apartment for the first time in her life. And that’s exactly what he has to do before the Nets start their training camp on September 28.

If things seem difficult, Sharp doesn’t show it. He was casually dressed in a gray T-shirt, black T-shirt, and a tall Jordan 5s top. In the back seat of his driver’s black Cadillac Escalade, he gazed out at the Manhattan skyline and thought about the restaurants people had recommended. On his way to the first three-bedroom apartment on the 23rd floor with 1,600 bedrooms and unobstructed views of Midtown-Sharp, he spotted Ample Hills Cream Shop. “That’s a huge bonus,” he said. “I heard the ice cream is really good. I can’t wait to try. ”

Sharp grew up in Greenville, an eastern North Carolina city that has a population of less than 100,000. He was always a fan of the Tar Heels, and his childhood dream of playing basketball for them began to come true when he grew a leg between sixth and eighth grade and entered South Central High School at 6-foot-7. In the 10th grade, he made his first trip to New York for a basketball tournament. He looked at the glowing billboards in Times Square and remembered thinking: “This place is seriously crowd. “

As a high school junior, he led the Falcons to a 30-1 record and Class 4A state championships. He got his first experience living independently as a senior in high school when he transferred to Monteverde Academy, Florida’s prep powerhouse. He shared a room—and a bunk bed—with Caleb Houston, who now plays for Michigan. Sharp took the top bunk so that his legs could hang from the foot of the twin bed. “People think I need a bigger bed,” he said, “but I’d be happy if I had just one queen at the moment.”