What to know about Reed Sheppard, NBA draft’s third overall pick

Over his 15-year run as the Kentucky basketball coach, John Calipari defined himself and the Wildcats’ program as a destination for future NBA players.

His 2024 draft class, his last as the Wildcats’ coach, is a group led by a familiar name: Reed Sheppard, who was perhaps the most integral player on what would be Calipari’s last team at Kentucky.

On Wednesday night, the London, Kentucky, native was selected by the Houston Rockets with the No. 3 pick in the 2024 NBA draft, transforming Sheppard from a promising basketball player into a potential franchise pillar and a source of hope for a fan base starving for success.

Reed Sheppard was a force on both ends of the court for the Wildcats and successfully followed in the footsteps of his father, Jeff Sheppard, a former Kentucky player who was the Final Four Most Outstanding Player on the Wildcats’ 1998 national championship team. Sheppard joined Kentucky as the fifth-highest-rated player in its 2023 freshman class, but went on to earn several national freshman of the year honors by the end of a 2023-24 season that ended unexpectedly early with an 80-76 loss to Oakland in the first round of the 2024 NCAA Tournament.

Here’s what to know about Sheppard as he enters the NBA:

Reed Sheppard scouting report

Can flat out score, especially off screens, using floaters or pulling up in transition. Lacks elite athleticism but handles ball well enough to warrant look at point guard. Will compete defensively, and rebounds well for his size. Performed well at the NBA draft combine with his shot and impressive 42-inch vertical leap. — Jeff Zillgitt

Reed Sheppard stats

In his first and ultimately only college season, Sheppard averaged 12.5 points, 4.5 assists, 4.1 rebounds, 2.5 steals and two turnovers per game while shooting 53.6% from the field and 52.1% from 3-point range.

Sheppard led Kentucky in assists and steals and was third on the team in scoring. His 3-point percentage led all Division I players last season.

Reed Sheppard height, weight

Heigh: 6 feet, 1¾ inches
Weight: 187 pounds

Sheppard was listed on Kentucky’s official 2023-24 roster at 6-foot-3 and 187 pounds. At the 2024 NBA draft Combine, Sheppard was measured at 6 feet, 1¾ inches without shoes and 181.6 pounds.

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