LONDON, Ky. — The wait is over for Big Blue Nation. Reed Sheppard, North Laurel’s 5-star junior, announced his commitment to play basketball for the University of Kentucky on Saturday in front of a packed house at North Laurel High School.
Once the legacy recruit let everyone know he would be announcing his decision on Saturday, there wasn’t a lot of doubt which school he would choose.
“Well, I’m a little boy from Kentucky," Reed Sheppard said. "I’ve grown up going to all kind of Kentucky games, going to different SEC Tournaments, always been around it and having this opportunity is something that’s very hard to pass up. It’s a dream of a lot of little boys that live in Kentucky to play basketball at the University of Kentucky…at the end of the day, I just felt like I couldn’t pass up Kentucky. This is very special to me and my family.”
Sheppard’s father, Jeff, played on the University of Kentucky’s 1996, and 1998 National Championship teams while also being named Final Four MVP in ‘98. His mother, Stacey, played basketball at the University of Kentucky and is one of the top 10 scorers in program history.
“It means a lot," Reed Sheppard said. "We are just thankful for the opportunity we have. I’m excited to spend the rest of these two years playing with my teammates and looking forward to getting to the University of Kentucky.”
Sheppard is currently the class of 2023’s 17th ranked player in the country after leading the state in scoring last season with a 30.1 average.
He had offers from Virginia, Arizona State, Clemson, Louisville, Ohio State, Wisconsin, Iowa, Iona, College of Charleston, High Point, Stetson, Indiana, Massachusetts and South Alabama.
Sheppard led it be known early during his recruiting process that, “It’s every kid’s dream that lives in Kentucky to play at the University of Kentucky but it will all play itself out at the end and the Lord will put me where I need to go.“
And in the end, he decided to join John Calipari’s Wildcats.
“I was ready, and ready to get it over with, and to be able to enjoy the next two years with my teammates, and just have fun and play," Reed Sheppard said. "When I get to Kentucky, I’m going to listen to Coach Cal, and do whatever he tells me to do.”