Kentucky's Shaedon Sharpe Opts For NBA Despite Zero Minutes Of Action

Few basketball players can step into the NBA without first logging some solid minutes on a college court, but Kentucky's Shaedon Sharpe is attempting to become one of them.

And the odds are in his favor.

Though he never officially suited up for the Wildcats, Sharpe is set to forego all four years of his college eligibility and enter the NBA Draft in June.

He enrolled at UK during the second semester this winter with an intent to play for the Wildcats next fall. Then he briefly considered joining Kentucky for the 2022 NCAA Tournament. Eventually, he nixed both ideas and opted to enter the draft this summer instead.

He figures to hear his name called within the first ten selections. Not bad for a prospect whose college resume includes averages of 0.0 points, 0.0. rebounds and 0.0 assists per game.

You just can't teach that kind of consistency.

Unlike Kobe Bryant, Kevin Garnett and LeBron James before him, Sharpe was unable to jump from prep to pros. The NBA now requires prospects to be at least 19 years old and one year removed from their high school graduation before they may enter the draft. No such rule existed for Kobe, KG or LBJ.

Though he graduated high school last May, Sharpe delayed his college decision until January, when he joined Big Blue. In an odd set of circumstances, Sharpe regularly practiced with the Wildcats and even warmed up with the team pregame, but never dressed for or entered a game.

The expectation was that Sharpe would suit up for Kentucky during the 2022-23 season, then likely enter the draft, where he was already being projected to be a top three selection. Instead, Sharpe announced earlier this month that he would enter his name into the draft and maintain his college eligibility while gauging interest from the league.

He must've liked what he heard.

Per an ESPN report, Sharpe will keep his name in the draft and not return to Kentucky. And even though he contributed as much to the UK team as you and I did, he'll likely be the highest Wildcat drafted since New York selected Kevin Knox ninth overall in 2018. Knicks fans still haven't recovered.

Multiple draft sites list Sharpe amongst the top 5 or 6 draft prospects. Based on 2021 salaries, top five picks generally pocket an average of around $6.7 million for their first pro season.

Sharpe apparently stayed at UK just long enough to master economics.


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Anthony is a former high school basketball intramural champion who played a leading role in creating two offspring. He spends his weekends hoping for an MTV Rock N' Jock revival. Follow him on X (@OhioAF).