Breaking News: Reed Sheppard’s Grit Earns Him Top Spot with Houston Rockets in 2024 NBA Draft

 Reed Sheppard’s Grit Earns Him Top Spot with Houston Rockets in 2024 NBA Draft

Reed Sheppard, renowned for his shooting, emerged as the Houston Rockets’ prime prospect thanks to his toughness.

Entering the 2024 NBA Draft, Sheppard was already highly regarded for his shooting skills. During his single season with the Kentucky Wildcats, he achieved the nation’s best 3-point shooting percentage at 52.1% and averaged 12.5 points over 33 games.

Despite his shooting prowess, it was Sheppard’s intangible qualities that elevated him in the eyes of the Houston Rockets. Coach Ime Udoka and general manager Rafael Stone were particularly impressed by his on-court toughness leading up to the draft.

“We had a dinner last night where we got to meet the family,” Udoka mentioned during Sheppard’s introductory press conference on Tuesday. “Stacey said it a few times: ‘You can’t be soft.’ I know he’s heard it his whole life. I heard it about five times last night. It’s something I know I don’t have to say to him. If he gets soft, I just have to call Mom.”

Throughout the 2023-24 season, Sheppard not only averaged 12.5 points but also contributed 4.5 assists across 33 games with the Kentucky Wildcats. By selecting Sheppard, the Rockets acquired an exceptional shooting talent who could enhance floor spacing.

However, Sheppard’s toughness aligns perfectly with Udoka’s coaching philosophy. Last season, several players, including Alperen Sengun and Jalen Green, demonstrated significant growth under Udoka’s guidance, which emphasized resilience and toughness.

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