Reed Sheppard commits to Kentucky


Kentucky Wildcats head coach John Calipari argues a call during the UK vs. Duke men’s basketball game as part of the State Farm Champions Classic on Tuesday, Nov. 9, 2021, at Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York. Duke won 79-71. Photo by Jack Weaver | Staff

Jaron Centers

John Calipari now has one of the top rated in-state recruits in recent history.

Reed Sheppard, a 6’3 combo guard from North Laurel High School, picked Kentucky over Virginia, Louisville, Indiana and others on Saturday morning. Sheppard is the No. 17 player in the class of 2023, per 247Sports. 

Sheppard’s decision signals the first verbal commitment for the Cats in the 23’ class, and the first in-state commitment for Calipari since Pendleton County star Dontaie Allen in 2018. 

This isn’t just an ordinary in-state commitment, as the star from London, Kentucky is the son of former UK basketball greats Jeff Sheppard and Stacy Reed.

Sheppard averaged 17.5 points, 3.3 assists, 5.6 rebounds and 2.4 steals-per-game with Midwest Basketball Club this summer, and was shortly followed by an official offer from Kentucky. In September and October, Sheppard took two unofficial visits to Lexington—making a decision all but imminent. A surprise commitment date was announced not even a week ago. 

Jerry Meyer, Director of Basketball Scouting from 247Sports, evaluated Sheppard as “a good athlete who can make plays in traffic. Plays with a low center of gravity and controls space. Is a lights out shooter with perfect technique and a quick release. Can score at all three levels. Capable of attacking left or right and finishing with strength.” 

Sheppard’s commitment is seen as a massive win for the program, and for in-state recruiting going forward—a major groan of UK fans as of recent. Sheppard will be a source of hype for the seasons ahead leading to his first game as a Wildcat. 

Until then, BBN will wait in anticipation and celebrate the opportunity to see a Sheppard in blue and white once again.