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Kentucky icon Reed Sheppard declares for 2024 NBA Draft

Kentucky guard Reed Sheppard dribbles the ball during the Kentucky vs. Florida mens’s basketball game on Wednesday, Jan. 31, 2024, at Rupp Arena in Lexington, Kentucky. Kentucky lost 94-91. Photo by Abbey Cutrer | Staff

Reed Sheppard joined Justin Edwards, Ugonna Onyenso and Rob Dillingham in declaring for the 2024 NBA Draft on Thursday.

He will forgo his remaining college eligibility and not return to Kentucky in the fall.

Sheppard, a former four-star prospect out of North Laurel High School in Kentucky and a lifelong Cats fan, committed to Kentucky with few people expecting him to make as large of an impact as he did.

Exploding onto the scene, Sheppard averaged 12.5 points, 4.1 rebounds and 4.5 assists, working his way up from a expected four-year Cat to a one-and-done lottery pick.

His efforts, mostly coming off the bench, were enough to earn him multiple honors including the NABC and SEC National Freshman of the Year awards.

While many hoped he may return and continue building his legacy at Kentucky after an unprecedentedly bad game in the NCAA Tournament, the departure of head coach John Calipari and Sheppard’s lottery pick status led the Kentucky kid to seek greener pastures in the pros.

Sheppard made his announcement on social media, posting a heartfelt video on his Instagram that included clips of him as a kid and lifelong Kentucky fan.

The NBA Draft is set to take place on Wednesday, June 26.

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