Shaedon Sharpe drafted No. 7 overall by Trail Blazers


Michael Clubb

Kentucky Wildcats guard Shaedon Sharpe sits on the bench during warmups before the UK vs Georgia men’s basketball game on Saturday, Jan. 8, 2022, at Rupp Arena in Lexington, Kentucky. UK won 92-77. Photo by Michael Clubb | Staff

Cole Parke, Sports Editor

Kentucky guard Shaedon Sharpe was drafted No. 7 overall by the Portland Trail Blazers in the 2022 NBA Draft on Thursday, making him the first Wildcat to hear his name called in this year’s draft.

Sharpe’s drafting is not without controversy, with the guard being the first ever Wildcat to reclassify to join the program sooner, and enter the draft without having played a single minute, despite being eligible to do so throughout the season.

Though blame has landed on the shoulders of many actors, including Sharpe himself and Kentucky head coach John Calipari, the outcome remains the same as the guard looks to his future in Portland.

The lack of on-the-court performance does not take away the fact that Sharpe still represents the University of Kentucky as a draftee, having practiced and been apart of the team for the 2021-2022 season that came to an abrupt end in the first round of the NCAA Tournament against No. 15 Saint Peter’s.

Sharpe had been rumored to potentially make his debut a number of times prior, including in home games inside Rupp Arena against Mississippi State and Vanderbilt, but both wins ended much closer than anticipated, with the former even going into overtime. 

Following the Wildcats’ throttling in Knoxville, the decision was made for Sharpe to be shut down for the season, with Calipari insisting that the star would be back to lead the program in the following season, though that did not end up coming to fruition.

In his new home in Portland, Sharpe will join the likes of Damian Lillard and former Wildcat Eric Bledsoe, with all eyes on the Trail Blazers to see how the young star will perform without having played collegiate ball.

The Blazers finished the 2021-2022 season 27-55, leaving them 13th in the Western Conference, seven games out of a play-in tournament spot.

Sharpe looks to add a much needed boost to a Blazers team that has appeared directionless in the past few seasons after a string of unsuccessful playoff stints before trading away several pivotal names.

The 2022-2023 NBA season is scheduled to begin in August, with Sharpe hoping to have claimed a starting role in Portland by the time the first game rolls around.