Sheppard’s sister was his protector during the recruitment process – The Interior Journal

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Before Reed Sheppard finally committed to playing basketball at the University of Kentucky where both his parents played, his sister wasn’t convinced he was going to choose the UK.

“It was about 50-50 with me,” said Madison Sheppard, a senior at Campbellsville University. “Part of me actually thought he’d choose a different route. I’m not going to lie because at one point I thought maybe he wouldn’t choose Kentucky because there were so many pressure on him that people didn’t realize.

“But Kentucky became very consistent recruiting him and everything Kentucky came up with was just awesome. Once we visited Big Blue Madness together, I had a good feeling that he would choose Kentucky then.

Reed Sheppard, a 6-3 junior combo guard at North Laurel High School, is one of the top 20 players nationally in a recruiting department. Coming into play this week, he was averaging 24.6 points and 6.9 rebounds per game while shooting 58% from the field and 44% from 3-point range.

He was named King of the Bluegrass Tournament Most Valuable Player and had a triple-double – 25 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists (as well as four steals) – in the title game loss to Covington Catholic. .

The five-star guard had visited Virginia, Ohio State, Indiana and Louisville before making his decision to play in Kentucky like his parents, Stacey Reed and Jeff Sheppard, did.

“I think he handled all the pressure well for a high school junior,” Madison Sheppard said. “There were times when he was overwhelmed. He just wants to be a normal kid, but it won’t get any easier for him just because he’s committed to the UK. He decided it would be like that and he could live with it.

Madison was a successful player in high school and part of a winning program at Campbellsville before a back injury forced her to drop out of what would have been her senior season this year. She’s still part of the team – “It’s hard to sit on the bench and watch, but I’m a great cheerleader because all I can do is stand up and shout as loud as you can.”

Reed Sheppard admitted that his sister gave him good advice when recruiting him.

“The chemistry is so important and I explained to him to look at the way the players interacted with each other in the teams he was watching. Did he see any selfishness or do they all love each other? I encouraged him to watch this,” she said.

“I told him to watch how coaches interact with players outside of basketball. Are they invested in the players? I also told him to see if there was a type of team ministry and was it a priority for the team to put the Lord first because without the Lord there is no way to be successful .

Reed Sheppard’s sister said the chemistry of the British team and chemistry coach John Calipari with the players was one of the reasons her brother signed up for the UK. Players watched football together and invested in other sports together. There was no sign of selfishness.

Madison Sheppard also wasn’t shy about asking college head coaches questions.

“A question I asked them was how do you plan to invest in Reed outside of basketball. A few coaches were confused by this, but Cal gave me a great answer,” Madison Sheppard said. It was just important to me as an older sister to see what they had planned.

“Coach Cal calls me ‘The Protector’ because of the way I take care of Reed. It’s funny how our last name is Sheppard and we also have this protective instinct like a shepherd. We take care of each other others.

Now, there were moments of no love lost between sister and younger brother when they played basketball against each other.

“In fact, there were very few times we played against each other because we were both so competitive that it would end in a fight,” Madison Sheppard said. “I was really tough on Reed in some ways, but I was also super protective and proud of him from the moment he was born.”

Madison knows she can watch him for two more seasons in North Laurel where he plays with his childhood friends.

“He loves being around them. Now that he has all that weight on his shoulders to make a decision, he can relax and play and smile and just have fun,” Madison said. a phenomenal year. I know how excited fans are to see a future British star performing in all those high school gymnasiums. He likes big games. He loves people yelling at him from the student sections. He agrees to this because no one likes to compete more than he does.

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