Once Shaedon Sharpe set foot on campus in January, he became an instant star among the Kentucky Wildcat faithful.
Fans came early to watch his highlight dunks or watch him splash home three after three from all points behind the arch.
With all of the excitement, however, has come anger and confusion when it comes to the question: Will he ever play a game for Kentucky?
After Thursday’s news, it seems rather unlikely.
Kentucky freshman Shaedon Sharpe will declare for the 2022 NBA Draft, and stay in, team sources tell me and @KyleTucker_ATH. NBA teams project Sharpe as a potential high draft lottery pick.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) April 21, 2022
Let’s dive into the eligibility saga, in particular his NBA eligibility.
For starters, let talk about the rules. NBA rules state that a player must be 19 years old, and they must be at least one year removed from high school by the start of the following NBA season.
During the time of his arrival on campus, it started to circulate that Sharpe would be ineligible for this upcoming draft, due to him not being a full year removed from high school before the start of this season.
“Sharpe started the current school year at Dream City Christian in the Phoenix area, but he had sufficient credits to graduate from high school before the start of the NBA season in October,” Givony said.
You might recall another report back on November, from Givony as well, in which he said Sharpe would not be eligible due to not graduating high school prior to the start of the NBA season.
This report started a trend over the next several days in January as Calipari and Sharpe’s mentor, Dwayne Washington, both made statements pointing to Sharpe’s return to Lexington for the 2022-23 season.
While questions surrounded if he was going to play throughout the end of the season, it ultimately brings us up to today regarding eligibility talk.
On March 21st, John Calipari stated he expected Sharpe to go through the NBA Draft process.
“Well, we sat down and talked to him. You know, I talked to him and I talked to his mom and dad. I think he’s got to explore, but he’s got to 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, or where people are saying,” Calipari said on his final radio show of the season.
Not a peep was heard about Sharpe’s future for several weeks after. With most in the BBN expecting him to ultimately leave, Travis Branham of 247 Sports released a report, that came true today as he said Sharpe would test the NBA Draft waters.
Now, it is time for the NBA to decide if Sharpe is indeed eligible.
Did he graduate in May? Did he graduate in October? With a ton of information being dropped, one thing is for certain; Sharpe has entered the draft, and now all of those draft eligibility questions can be answered.