Shaedon Sharpe’s Kentucky career has come to an end before it started. Just before the June 1 deadline, the former No. 1 overall prospect who enrolled at the UK in January formally stated his intention to remain in the 2022 NBA Draft.
Here is what he said;
“First and foremost, through God’s blessings, it has been a privilege to attend the University of Kentucky. Thank you, BBN, for your support during my time with Kentucky. With the positive feedback I’ve received I will be remaining in the NBA Draft,” Sharpe posted to Twitter.
Sharpe, who entered the draft on April 21 while keeping his college eligibility, maybe Kentucky’s first top-5 pick since De’Aaron Fox in 2017.
Sharpe surpassed Anthony Davis (2011) and Nerlens Noel (2011) as the highest-rated prospect to commit to the Wildcats in the 247Sports Composite period, which began in 2000. (2012). Sharpe’s eligibility for the 2022 NBA Draft, where most mock drafts peg him as a top-10 choice, was initially questioned in late January, putting doubt on whether he will ever play for Kentucky.
Calipari stated in early February that Sharpe would not play this season after teasing that he may.
The goal had always been for Sharpe to redshirt and return to Lexington next season.
“If this kid comes back, he’s the No. 1 draft pick,” Calipari said. “How can I say I know what the No. 1 draft pick looks like? Because I’ve had four! That’s why I can say what it looks like.'”
Calipari eventually seemed to recognize the prospect that Sharpe would not only test the NBA Draft waters but also that he might not return during his final weekly radio program of the season in March.
“I talked to he, and his mom and dad. And I think he’s got to explore but he’s gotta make a decision on, ‘Alright, do I want this right now? Am I ready for this right now? Is it where I thought it was?’ Because as you go through the process, the information comes back from the NBA, not an agent or anybody else around you, it comes from the NBA and you have a better idea of what everything is. And until they get that information, it’s hard,” Calipari said.
“I hope I get a chance to coach him in real games because I enjoy him in practice and I enjoy him as a young person. He’s one of those guys but he’s a super talent though.”
Since 2010, Kentucky has been blessed with three No. 1 overall picks, thirteen top-10 picks, twenty-one lottery picks, thirty-two first-round picks, and forty-three total NBA Draft picks. The 2022 NBA Draft will take place at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn on Thursday, June 23.