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The Kentucky wing spoke with Yahoo Sports NBA draft analyst Krysten Peek at the Barclays Center after being selected 7th overall in the 2022 NBA Draft.
KRYSTEN PEEK: I'm Krysten Peek, NBA Draft analyst for Yahoo Sports here, with the number 7 in the pick in the draft, Shaedon Sharpe heading to Portland. How does that feel?
SHAEDON SHARPE: I mean, I'm really excited, you know? I can't wait to get started. Really, I'm looking forward to learning from Damian Lillard and the other vets from Portland. So it would be [? ecstatic. ?]
KRYSTEN PEEK: How was your workout there? What was the feedback that they gave you?
SHAEDON SHARPE: Feedback was really good. They see that I can really compete. And I tried to show that in the drills and the competition that they put me through. So feedback was pretty solid.
KRYSTEN PEEK: And you're one of the most mysterious players in the Draft. You didn't play a minute at Kentucky. You know what everybody's saying about that. But how were you able to get through this process with all the criticism and just stay focused and know that you're good enough to be here, you're good enough to be the number 7 pick?
SHAEDON SHARPE: Really just put in the work. I feel like if you put in the work, you can really go anywhere with where you're trying to go.
KRYSTEN PEEK: Kentucky fans were obviously less than thrilled when you made your decision. Were you surprised at all about all the backlash from [? TBN? ?]
SHAEDON SHARPE: I mean, their fan base is crazy, so I wasn't really surprised. But I mean, I'm not really on social media like that, looking at comments and stuff, so it didn't really hit me.
KRYSTEN PEEK: I mean, you are a product of Kentucky. Coach Cal recruited you. You practiced there. What did he say to you, going through this entire Draft process, and before tonight.
SHAEDON SHARPE: Really just have fun with the process. Just take everything in.
KRYSTEN PEEK: I mean, being mysterious, there's also criticism. And I have to tell you, there was a Western Conference executive that said, how can you be a top 5 pick? How can you be the fifth pick in the draft if you haven't played in a year and a half. Show me. What's your reaction to that and just that kind of doubt in your game?
SHAEDON SHARPE: I mean, I'm going to come in to the Summer League and in the NBA and really show people like the reporter wrong. So I'm just going to come in with confidence and just try and get better each and every day.
KRYSTEN PEEK: What are you most looking forward to in Summer League? I mean, you haven't played in so long.
SHAEDON SHARPE: Probably just playing.
KRYSTEN PEEK: [LAUGHS]
SHAEDON SHARPE: I'm looking forward to just playing, competing at the highest level.
KRYSTEN PEEK: And for Trail Blazer fans, what aspects of your game are you ready to showcase?
SHAEDON SHARPE: Really, just, I can attack the rim, finish above the rim, really impact the game, find my teammates, and really just compete.
KRYSTEN PEEK: And playing with Damian Lillard, what are you most excited about learning from him?
SHAEDON SHARPE: I mean, I can't wait to really learn from him and get started just taking everything that--
KRYSTEN PEEK: [INAUDIBLE] share with you?
SHAEDON SHARPE: Yes, ma'am. [INAUDIBLE]
KRYSTEN PEEK: All right. Well, Shaedon, thank you so much. I know this is a big night for you. There's a lot going on. And good luck next season.
SHAEDON SHARPE: Thank you.