Sheppard, Ford named Kentucky Mr. and Miss Basketball

Published 3:00 pm Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Reed Sheppard claimed the final award of his prep career on Sunday night.

Sheppard was named Kentucky Mr. Basketball, the fifth Kentucky Mr. Basketball signed by Kentucky coach John Calipari. Sheppard, the son of former Kentucky standout Jeff Sheppard, averaged 22.1 points, 8.5 assists and 8.5 rebounds per game as a senior at North Laurel High School in London.

“Growing up in Kentucky, everybody wants to be Mr. Basketball,” Sheppard told the 13th Region Media Network. “Being able to be here and finally win it, it’s a really special moment for me. Not a lot of people get to say that they won it. Being able to (do it) is just an unbelievable experience.”

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Sheppard led the Jaguars to a pair of Sweet Sixteen appearances during his stellar prep career at North Laurel. The Jaguars fell to state runner-up George Rogers Clark 60-54 in the opening round of the state tournament.

During his prep career at North Laurel, Sheppard scored 3,727 points, which lists him as third in the state, 1,214 assists (second in the state), 1,050 rebounds and 653 steals, a state record.

“I don’t really have a lot of words to say about it, but it’s something that I’ll always cherish,” Sheppard said. “These next couple of weeks I’m gonna try and relax, and hang out with my friends, and chill out, and enjoy high school.”

Rowan County guard Haven Ford was named Miss Basketball. The Murray State signee averaged 26.1 points, 12.5 rebounds, 5.2 assists and 5.2 steals per game and led Rowan to a 24-8 record.

Ford finished her career with 3,325 points and 1.458 rebounds. She is the third Miss Basketball from the 16th Region. Boyd County’s Savannah Wheeler claimed it in 2019 and West Carter’s Megen Gearhart was named in 2003.

Ford was also recognized Sunday as the winner of the ninth annual Donna L.J. Murphy Award. Named in honor of the Newport great who was Kentucky’s first Miss Basketball in 1976, the Murphy award goes to a senior who “exemplifies the meaning of being a great student-athlete.”

The Mr. and Miss Basketball award is given to a senior player every year. The winner is determined from voting by members of the Kentucky Association of Basketball Coaches, media and former Mr. and Miss Basketballs.

Sheppard and Ford will represent the Kentucky All-Stars when they play the Indiana All Stars this summer. They both will have the honor of wearing the No. 1 jersey for Kentucky during those games.

The two All-Star teams (boys and girls) will have home-and-home doubleheaders with games in Indiana and Kentucky — June 9 at the Owensboro SportsCenter in Owensboro and June 10 at Gainbridge Fieldhouse in Indianapoli