Future Kentucky men’s basketball players were at Rupp Arena to watch Wildcats play Kansas
Saturday night represented a significant opportunity for the Kentucky men’s basketball team this season, as the Wildcats aimed to bank an important home win over No. 9 Kansas.
But in the early stages of the game, the capacity crowd at Rupp Arena was also treated to a look at UK basketball’s future.
Two Kentucky basketball signees in the 2023 class — point guard Robert Dillingham and combo guard Reed Sheppard — were introduced to the crowd during the first media timeout of the game.
Dillingham and Sheppard are two members of Kentucky’s top-ranked 2023 recruiting class, along with guard DJ Wagner, small forward Justin Edwards and center Aaron Bradshaw.
Dillingham is playing his senior season with Overtime Elite, a professional league for high school basketball players that is based in Atlanta. Dillingham is forgoing a salary in order to retain his college eligibility.
Sheppard, the son of two UK basketball legends in Jeff Sheppard and Stacey Reed Sheppard, has been a longtime in-state star at North Laurel High School.
Following the game — which Kansas won by nine points — Kentucky head coach John Calipari made reference to Dillingham and Sheppard while speaking on UK’s postgame radio show.
“Those two can’t wait to get here to play,” Calipari said.
In addition to Dillingham and Sheppard, UK also hosted the top-ranked player in the 2024 recruiting class, Tre Johnson, for Saturday night’s game.
Kentucky doesn’t yet have any commits in the class of 2024.
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