Kentucky guard Reed Sheppard enters NBA draft

Kentucky's Reed Shepherd takes part in the NCAA college basketball team practice at PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh, Wednesday, March 20, 2024. (Gene J. Puskar/AP Photo)

LEXINGTON, Ky. — Kentucky reserve guard Reed Sheppard, who was voted the Southeastern Conference’s top freshman by coaches after leading the league in steals, says he will enter the NBA draft.

The London, Kentucky, native was considered one of the conference’s best playmakers and perimeter shooters. He said in a social media post that it was time to pursue his dream of playing in the NBA and asked fans “to go with me” in a one-minute video.

Sheppard’s father, Jeff, was the 1998 Final Four Most Outstanding Player and helped the Wildcats win two national championships, while his mother, Stacey, was a 1,000-point scorer for Kentucky’s women’s team.

Sheppard started just five of 33 games but was Kentucky’s No. 3 scorer at 12.5 points per contest and averaged an SEC-best 2.5 steals that ranked eighth nationally.

Sheppard also ranked fourth in the SEC with 4.5 assists per game, averaged 4.1 rebounds and made 52% of his 3-point attempts. He earned the Wayman Tisdale Award as the nation’s top freshman as selected by the U.S. Basketball Writers Association.

Sheppard is the second Wildcat to enter the draft along with fellow freshman Rob Dillingham, the SEC’s top sixth man who declared last week.

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