Hornets Announce Team Medical Staff

Joe Sharpe Named Director Of Health Care & Sports Performance

September 5, 2018 – Charlotte Hornets President of Basketball Operations & General Manager Mitch Kupchak announced today that the team has named Joe Sharpe Director of Health Care & Sports Performance, while adding Dr. Quinton Sawyer, Adam Linens and Dr. Powell Bernhardt to his staff and retaining Aaron Karkow and Jason Meiring.

Sharpe returns to Charlotte, where he previously served as head athletic trainer from 2004-08, after spending the last 10 seasons as head athletic trainer for the Oklahoma City Thunder. His NBA experience also includes two seasons with the Minnesota Timberwolves as the strength & conditioning coach/assistant athletic trainer prior to his first stint in Charlotte. In addition to his NBA roles, Sharpe has served as an athletic trainer for USA Basketball teams at various levels, including as an athletic trainer for the men’s senior national teams at the 2012 and 2016 Olympics. Before the NBA, Sharpe spent nine years as an assistant athletic trainer at the University of Connecticut from 1993-2002. He graduated from Old Dominion University with a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in education and athletic training.

Sawyer comes to Charlotte as an associate head athletic trainer after serving three seasons with the Phoenix Suns as their assistant athletic trainer and sports science coordinator. Prior to Phoenix, Sawyer spent five seasons as the head athletic trainer for Michigan State University’s men’s basketball team. His experience also includes two seasons as the head athletic trainer at Campbell University and three seasons at Southeastern Louisiana University as athletic trainer for the men’s basketball and volleyball teams. Sawyer, a North Carolina native, graduated from the University of North Carolina in 2004, where he later obtained his master’s degree in exercise and sport science from in 2006. Sawyer also earned his Doctor of Athletic Training from A.T. Still University.

Karkow will enter his second season with the Hornets as an assistant athletic trainer, after previously serving as head athletic trainer for the Greensboro Swarm, the team’s G League affiliate, for their inaugural 2016-17 season. His experience also includes two seasons at the University of Mount Olive from 2014-16 working with men’s basketball. Karkow earned his bachelors of science in athletic training from Endicott College in 2012, and his master’s degree in sports medicine from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in 2014.

Linens joins the Hornets as strength & conditioning coach after spending three years as the men’s basketball strength & conditioning coach at the University of Oregon. The North Carolina native previously served as the strength & conditioning coach for the Canton Charge, the G League affiliate of the Cleveland Cavaliers after completing internships with the Cleveland Cavaliers and Atlanta Hawks. Linens graduated from the University of North Carolina with a bachelor’s degree in exercise science and athletic training in 2005 and earned a master’s degree in exercise science and health promotion/rehabilitation science from California University of Pennsylvania in 2015.

Meiring will enter his fifth season with the Hornets as assistant strength & conditioning coach. Meiring previously interned with the team’s strength & conditioning staff during the 2012-13 season while earning his bachelor’s degree in kinesiology and exercise science at Colorado Mesa University.

Bernhardt joins the Hornets staff as director of rehabilitation. Bernhardt, who spent the last three years with Premier Performance and Rehab in Vienna, VA, earned his doctor of physical therapy degree from Temple University. He holds PT, DPT, MS, COMT and CMTPT certifications.

Team physicians Marcus Cook and Joe Garcia of Novant Health will return as team doctors for the 2018-19 season. Cook will enter his ninth season with the team and Garcia will begin his 14th season. Larry Seitlin will return as team dentist, a role he has served in since 1990.