OPINION: FOR THE RECORD: Reed Sheppard has done Laurel County proud

Apr. 26—It's probably safe to say that no one in this area knows less about college basketball than me.

So it should come as no surprise that my prediction that Reed Sheppard would stay at the University of Kentucky for at least another year was wrong.

I was among the many surprised last week as Sheppard took to social media with his announcement that he is entering the NBA Draft after a single season at UK.

I was surprised, yes, but was I disappointed? Not really.

My opinion had been based on his family's ties not only to UK but to new head coach Mark Pope. But I had also seen plenty of comments about Sheppard being a lottery pick for the upcoming draft. I certainly can't blame him for striking while the iron is hot.

No matter what team that he plays for, Reed Sheppard stands as a source of pride for Laurel County. At the high school level, he led North Laurel to two 13th region championships on his way to becoming the lead scorer not only for North but for the whole region. During his brief tenure at UK, he distinguished himself as Freshman of the Year not only for the SEC but nationally.

Sheppard was the only player in the country with at least 145 assists, 80 steals and 70 made 3s, according to what I've read. That's impressive by any standard.

I join our community in wishing Reed Sheppard the best not only for the draft this June but in all his future endeavors. I'm excited to see what comes next.

Janie Slaven is the editor of The Sentinel-Echo. She can be reached at