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Reed Sheppard posts 42-inch vertical -- best at the Draft Combine

Jack PIlgrimby:Jack Pilgrim05/13/24

Is Reed Sheppard going to be the No. 1 pick in the 2024 NBA Draft? He’s not hurting his case at the Draft Combine in Chicago this week.

No matter the mock draft you look at, the Kentucky star freshman is sitting firmly inside the top 10 across the board. CBS Sports has him at No. 2, ESPN and USA Today at No. 3, The Ringer at No. 4 — you get the idea. Yahoo! Sports is lowest on Sheppard among major outlets at No. 9 overall.

Point being, you’re not gonna have to wait long to hear the London, KY native hear his name called on June 26 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

A good way to ensure you’re among the first to come off the board? You post the highest max vertical leap at the NBA Draft Combine to open the event in Chicago, jumping 42 inches on Monday to lead all participants.

That’s tied for No. 22 overall in the history of the Combine, for those keeping track at home.

At the time of his jump, he led the test by over two inches, everyone else separated by a hair with ties all over the place in the top 18. Since then, only Adem Bona (40.0) has hit the 40-inch mark while Dalton Knecht jumped 39 inches and Ron Holland went for 38.0.


And he’s not just impressing as a leaper — Sheppard is doing just about everything else extremely well, too.

The former Wildcat also shot the cover off the ball in off-movement 3-point shooting and catch-and-shoot drills.

He looked the part in agility drills, as well, separating himself in the 3/4 court sprint test and Pro Lane Agility drill.

Sheppard officially measured at 6-1.75 without shoes with a 6-3.25 wingspan and weighed in at 181.6 pounds. Considering most shoes add a solid inch-plus, he could be sitting pretty at a 6-3 official height — scouts were reportedly skeptical he’d hit that mark when testing rolled around.

To have that, on top of blowing everything else out of the water, it’s pretty safe to assume he won’t be sliding out of the top five in next month’s draft. And that’s the early word out of Chicago.

Not bad for a little boy from Kentucky.

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