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North Laurel’s Sheppard is the WKYT Athlete of the Week

The sophomore leads the state in scoring and had 43 points vs. Madison Central Tuesday night
Published: Feb. 24, 2021 at 6:45 PM EST
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Reed Sheppard stands 6′2 or 6′3 and has a look of innocence on the court, almost harmless. But once he is turned loose, the North Laurel sophomore shows everyone what the hype is all about but goes about his work humbly.

“He gets all the attention, gets all the credit, but he’ll be the first one to push that on other guys,” says North Laurel coach Nate Valentine. “He wants other guys to get attention and keeps in about the team.”

Sheppard can do it all and he can only get better. The following probably isn’t fair, but it is human nature. It is impossible not to see flashes of another schoolboy legend 35 years ago named Rex Chapman. They’re games at this point in their high school careers are similar.

“It’s tough but mom and dad have been really good about it,” says Sheppard concerning the massive amount of attention he is garnering. “They tell me just don’t worry about it and keep my head on straight. They know I’m going to hear it, good or bad, but their biggest thing is just go out and do you and people are going to see what they’re gonna say.”

Sheppard is averaging a state best 33 points a game, has had several triple-doubles, and is close to being the complete high school player.

“I don’t think I’ve ever had anybody that can dominate a game (like Sheppard),” says Valentine. “He can have 14 points and absolutely dominate a game without having the ball in his hands.”

If Chapman is possibly one comparison, Valentine relates to another former Kentucky Mister Basketball winner.

“I remember watching Elisha Justice (Shelby Valley Mr. Basketball in 2010) and he was a guy that could impact a game and led his team to a state championship and he didn’t have to have the ball in his hands. Defensively and just all the other stuff that he did and I think Reed is the same way.”

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