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Kentucky basketball recruiting: Five-star CG Reed Sheppard, follows in father’s footsteps, commits to Wildcats

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Jody Demling/247Sports

Kentucky native Reed Sheppard, a five-star recruit in the 2023 class from London, Kentucky, announced on Saturday in a commitment ceremony that he’s staying home to play his college ball and committing to the Kentucky Wildcats. Sheppard, the No. 22 overall player in the 247Sports Composite rankings, chose UK over an offer sheet that included Arizona State, Louisville, Indiana, Iowa and others.

The 6-foot-3 combo guard has a rich family history of Kentucky ties with his father, Jeff, and his mother, Stacey Reed, both having played basketball for the Wildcats in college. 

“I’m a little boy from Kentucky. I’ve grown up going to all kind of Kentucky games. Always been around it. Having this opportunity was something that’s very hard to pass up,” he said in a commitment ceremony. 

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Reed’s father, Jeff, was a two-time NCAA champion with the Wildcats in the 1990s, an NCAA Tournament MOP and an All-SEC performer as a senior. He averaged 13.7 points and 4.0 rebounds for the Wildcats in 1997-98 on a Tubby Smith-coached team that featured Nazr Muhammad, Scott Padgett, Wayne Turner and others. His mother, Stacey Reed, is one of the top-10 all-time scorers for the women’s program.

Kentucky slow-played Sheppard in his recruitment but ultimately made an offer this summer as he received a wave of interest from across the country. The offer made way to a full-court press from John Calipari and his staff, who made him a priority in getting him on campus and sealing his commitment, making him the first player in the 2023 class to choose the Wildcats.

“We’re just very thankful for the opportunity that we have,” Sheppard said. “It’s a dream of a lot of little boys that live in Kentucky to play basketball at the University of Kentucky.”

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