In-state star Reed Sheppard is a Kentucky Wildcat
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In-state star Reed Sheppard is a Kentucky Wildcat

Article written by:Jack PilgrimJack Pilgrim

Reed Sheppard is officially a Wildcat, announcing his commitment to John Calipari and the Kentucky basketball program on Saturday.

Sheppard ultimately chose Kentucky over offers from Arizona State, Clemson, Indiana, Iowa, Louisville, Ohio State, Texas A&M and Virginia, among others.

The 6-foot-3, 175-pound junior is rated as the No. 21 overall prospect and No. 5 combo guard in the latest 2023 On3 Player Rankings. On3, 247 Sports and ESPN list him as a four-star prospect, while Rivals recently gave Sheppard the five-star bump. He’s ranked No. 17 overall by 247Sports, No. 21 overall by On3 and Rivals, and No. 37 overall by ESPN.

Sheppard, a North Laurel standout and native of Laurel, KY, received a scholarship offer from Kentucky back on July 9 after impressing at an adidas 3SSB event in Birmingham. He was later named Underclassman Player of the Year and Second Team All-Circuit after averaging 17.5 points (45.0% FG), 5.6 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 2.4 steals per contest throughout the summer.

It was a continuation of Sheppard’s strong play as a sophomore, with the North Laurel star leading the state in scoring at 30.1 points (55.8% FG, 40.9% 3PT, 88.0% FT) to go with 7.1 rebounds per contest. He helped lead the Jaguars to a final record of 25-3 in 2020-21.

As for his recruitment, things were rather cut and dry. Sheppard took visits to Louisville, Indiana and Ohio State, and also had serious interest in Virginia, but Kentucky emerged as the heavy favorite as soon as Calipari pulled the trigger on an offer. He took two unofficial visits to UK this fall, the first on September 24 and the second on October 15.

After going through the process and weighing his options, Sheppard knew he was ready to decide.

“He went through the process and let the process take care of itself,” North Laurel head coach Nate Valentine told KSR. “He went on visits, met with coaches, and went on several campuses. I don’t think he put a timeline on himself he just wanted to find the right fit; where he felt comfortable.”

Sheppard is the son of two former Kentucky basketball stars, with his father being two-time champion and 1998 Final Four Most Outstanding Player Jeff Sheppard, and his mother being Stacey Reed Sheppard, a top-15 scorer in UK women’s basketball history.

The two of them combined to score 2,573 points at Kentucky. Now, their son is ready to continue that family legacy as a Wildcat.

Welcome to the family.

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