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Where Are They Now: Jeff Sheppard

 

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Not many players get to brag about winning two national titles during their college basketball careers. Jeff Sheppard does on the other hand. Sheppard was a part of both the 1996 and 1998 national championship team during his time at Kentucky.

Sheppard was named NCAA Final Four Most Outstanding Player, All-NCAA Regional Team and All-SEC during his senior year in 1998. He scored a total of 1,091 points, which ranks him 48th overall in Kentucky basketball scoring history.

Here are some videos of Kentucky’s Great Dunking Guard:

Despite his successful college career, Sheppard’s NBA career was not the same. He played one season for the Atlanta Hawks during the 1998-99 season. Sheppard averaged 2.2 points and 1.2 rebounds in 18 games played.

Sheppard was not quite ready to end his basketball career. He decided to take his basketball skills overseas and played in Italy for the next three years. He played for Benetton Treviso, Cordivari Roseto and Wurth Roma before retiring in 2001 following the terrorist attacks on 9/11.

“I had some opportunities to come back over to Italy and play, but just felt like it was the right thing to do, stay with the family,” Sheppard said. “I kind of wish I’d given it one more shot, but didn’t.”

After the attacks on September 11, Sheppard and his wife, former Kentucky basketball player Stacey Reed, decided to settle down in London, KY. The two former Wildcats have two children, Madison and Reed. Sheppard enjoys coaching his kids’ sports team, as they both are avid athletes.

Sheppard worked in pharmaceutical sales for a little before becoming a successful businessman. He and his wife began their own company called 15inc., a private label apparel company that produces sports apparel for various companies.

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In 2010, he was a part of a project by the University of Kentucky to restore video and audio from Kentucky’s 1958 National Championship. Sheppard was the vice president of business development of Wazoo Sports Inc. that helped digitize and restore the video.

Sheppard conducts an annual tour through Eastern Kentucky with Operation UNITE that organizes a series of basketball camps called “Shoot Hoops, Not Drugs.” The camps take place at local schools and give hundreds of kids the ability to improve their basketball skills and learn about the dangers of drug use.

“It’s just important that we keep fighting,” Sheppard said. “We never give up. Keep doing programs in each community that educate the kids and the parents and the grandparents and we keep striving for championships.”

Today Sheppard owns Sheppards Fan Shop in London, KY that sells officially licensed University of Kentucky, North Laurel, and South Laurel merchandise.

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Jeff and I in Nashville for the SEC Tournament. (And that is Jarrod Polson playing Pop-A-Shot in the background)

 

 

Article written by Kindsey Bernhard

Lover of dogs, sports and beer. @kindseybernhard

7 Comments for Where Are They Now: Jeff Sheppard



  1. katsrock
    7:38 pm April 13, 2015 Permalink

    You somehow conveniently forgot to mention that Sheppard has disavowed his relationship with UK (except to make money) and has espoused his love for the traitor and liar Rat Pitino and all things UofL now.

    In addition, he insulted Calipari by saying he wasn’t close to him and that Pitino is the coach he now prefers to spend time with.

    Don’t believe me? Look it up.



    • wallywildcat
      10:48 pm April 13, 2015 Permalink

      Maybe it was left out, because it’s not relevant.



    • CatsFanFrankfort
      11:53 am April 14, 2015 Permalink

      And of course he likes to spend more time with his own coach than with the coach of his Alma Mater. Wouldn’t you, if you played sports? I only played soccer in high school, but I would still rather spend time with my old high school coach than with the current one even though I would support the team. And that’s even if my old high school coach now coached my high school’s rival.

      Plus, he didn’t ‘disavow’ his relationship with Kentucky. That’s absurd. He just said he was more comfortable being with Pitino. I don’t really think that is insulting Cal.



  2. NoelGallagher
    8:58 pm April 13, 2015 Permalink

    Im older than him and haven’t gone bald yet



  3. Gowcats
    9:05 pm April 13, 2015 Permalink

    OK, I looked it up, including the WKYT interview with Coach Cal where he said when he was told about Sheppard’s comments he said (paraphrased) “Stop. I did not coach him, and I can understand his loyalty to the guy that did coach him.” Jeff played in a time when 1&D was not he norm, and honestly if you asked most of BBN we were of the same mind in not liking it at the time. Things change, and a lot of people don’t particularly like change, but then there is the reality we are dealing with these days. Until the NBA changes the rules, this is reality. If Cal is OK with what Sheppard’s said, so am I.



  4. catdaddyd
    10:43 pm April 13, 2015 Permalink

    Jeff and Scott carried us to that title in 98 and beat Duke along the way. Love the “where are they now segments.”

    Sheppard had a dunk against Indiana in December 97 that was wicked, can’t seem to find it on YouTube.



  5. mcp157
    7:48 am April 14, 2015 Permalink

    Played his best when it counted. Never will forget the 98 squad. Wow they were clutch.