Arizona Preps Q&A: Reed Sheppard

by Chris Monter | Posted on Sunday, August 15th, 2021

NBA scout and draft expert for many years, Chris Monter (Monter Draft News) has joined the Arizona Preps' staff, and recently hit the road on behalf of Arizona Preps to cover some of Arizona's top prospects. In the process, Monter covered and featured the Arizona travel programs in participation - interviewing their top prospects and evaluating their play during the competition.

Reed Sheppard, a 6-foot-3 junior guard from London (KY) North Laurel, is ranked as the #39 player in the country by Rivals, and #53 by 24/7 Sports in the Class of 2023. Sheppard comes from a basketball family. His father, Jeff, won two national titles at Kentucky in 1996 and 1998, and he was named the Most Outstanding Player of the NCAA Tournament in 1998. His mother, Stacey Reed, led the Wildcats in assists and steals in all four years at Kentucky, and finished her career 13th in all-time scoring. Sheppard shined as a member of the Midwest Basketball Club 17-and-under AAU program this spring and summer.  Arizona Preps caught up with Sheppard this summer, after leading the Midwest Basketball Club to a spot in the semi-finals to learn more about his college decision and upcoming season. 

Arizona Preps: You played really well out here, making it to the Final Four. How pleased are you with how well you and the team have played this spring and summer? 

Reed Sheppard: It’s been an extremely fun summer and spring. These dudes, they are a really, really fun group to play with. We all get along very well on and off the court. What we have off the court is something special. It just shows that you can see it on the court with how we play and how we have fun with each other. It sucks that we have to end it this way, getting beat by Dream Vision (who won the title), which is a really, really good team, but we were very, very happy with how our spring and summer went, so we had a really good time playing with each other.    

Arizona Preps: You are a very good shooter, but you take pride in other aspects in your game and you can see that where a guy makes the extra pass as opposed to other teams that don’t do that? Do you think that is something that helps you guys, but also kind of your nature as well? 

Reed Sheppard: For sure, like you said, it helps us. A lot of AAU people, it’s all one-on-one and get your own bucket, but with us, it was “help your teammates get what they need and it makes you look better as a player and it makes you play better as a team,” so that is one thing that we put on our mindset on is that “if there is a dude open, make that extra pass and don’t ever be selfish about playing the game.” Always make the right basketball play. 

Arizona Preps: Seeing your dad, makes me feel old because I wrote about him back in the day and your mom was also a player, too. Obviously, basketball has always been big in your life. How big have they been to your love of basketball? 

Reed Sheppard: They have been a tremendous help, but when I was younger, they never made me play basketball. It was always if I want to, they were going to be happy with whatever I played, but now that I choose basketball, they are hard on me to stay working and they don’t ever let me get too high on myself or too low on myself. They always keep it straight with me and give the facts and that’s what you need, some people that will always give you the truth, no matter what. 

Arizona Preps: I know that Kentucky recently offered you. Obviously, you are a Kentucky kid. What was the reaction when you got the news? 

Reed Sheppard: We were extremely thankful. Mom and dad both playing at the University of Kentucky and growing up in Kentucky, that’s like something that everybody in Kentucky dreams of getting the opportunity to do and knowing that I have that opportunity is just something to be extremely thankful for. 

Arizona Preps: I knew that you are only a 2023 kid, but Kentucky has a crazy bunch of fans. Have people reached out to you already via social media or family or friends from Kentucky? 

Reed Sheppard: There has been some people on social media, for sure and I’ve got some friends around home that just mess with me about it, but most of the time, I try to just block out what everybody else says. We have one more tournament with Midwest and I’m just going to try to finish out and enjoy my July and then start looking further into the recruitment stuff.   

Arizona Preps: What’s it going to mean to play Division I basketball? 

Reed Sheppard: It’s going to mean everything. That is something you dream of as a kid, is being able to play at the highest level and knowing that I have that opportunity. Just got to keep working for the next two years before I can go to a college and make my final decision, but when that happens, it is going to be something that I am going to be extremely thankful and blessed for the opportunity. You can’t take that for granted. You just have to be thankful. 

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