Richie Farmer knows what Reed Sheppard is going through as a 13th region basketball sensation drawing attention from colleges all over the country, including the University of Kentucky, the dream school. Farmer may be the only person who can speak to the pressure Sheppard feels at age 17, already a celebrity among a Big Blue Nation.
He has also kept a close eye on Sheppard’s game over the last three years as a 13th region basketball parent. Farmer’s son Tate played for Clay County, about 30 minutes east of Sheppard’s North Laurel.
“I’ve watched him play for three years and I’ve been telling people for the last couple, I said by the time this kid’s a junior, you won’t be able to guard him,” Farmer said of Sheppard while hosting Friday’s Kentucky Sports Radio radio show. “So that’ll be this coming year. I think the people in the 13th region will really have a difficult time.
“He doesn’t have any weaknesses, really, in his game. His only real weakness is experience. There’s been times where maybe he doesn’t make the best decision at that time, but a lot of that just comes with experience. But he shoots the ball real well, he handles the ball, he goes both ways, he’s athletic, he can get to the rim, and he can guard he needs to. He’s just a wonderful talent and I’m looking forward to seeing what he can be, because you have to realize, he still has two years of high school basketball left.”
Not just gifted on the court, Sheppard has a great circle around him off the court, Farmer says, to navigate everything coming his way.
He told KSR listeners, “Reed has good people around him. Obviously Jeff and Stacey both played collegiate basketball at Kentucky, so he’s got a good base and a good foundation of people that can lead him in the right way and teach him the things that he needs to know. He’s a poised kid. He’s a wonderful kid to be around. I’ve seen him away from the court several times and he’s always very courteous and respectful. I just think where he can go over the next two years, it’ll be fun to watch.”
Farmer believes Sheppard will be one of the two or three best guards in the entire class by the time his high school career is over.
You can hear his full thoughts on Sheppard below:
Listen to the entire podcast here.