Born and raised in Asheville, NC, Jordan Shepherd has returned to his home state to become a Charlotte 49er. The son of Kimberly Green and Charles Shepherd and brother of Londyn has been one heck of a basketball star since the age of three. With a clear passion for the game, Shepherd stuck with the sport of basketball all his life.
Jordan Shepherd attended Asheville Christian Academy and played for Coach Andy Ray. During the 2015-16 season, he was named the Carolina’s Athletic Association’s Player of the Year as a senior. How can you not earn that honor when you average 19.2 points, 5.1 assists, 5.1 rebounds and 2.1 steals per game? He was also named to the NCISAA 2-A All-State team. His junior year of high school, he was offered by Charlotte to come play with the men’s basketball program.
Being the great player that he is, he had many other offers and he had to consider his options. Shepherd originally committed to James Madison, but he decided to open his recruitment following a coaching change announcement. After his AAU and senior season had come to a close, he was being recruited by a top ranked program, Oklahoma University in Norman. Shortly after, he ended up committing to be a Sooner.
Shepherd saw action in 59 games in two-years at Oklahoma with four career starts. He averaged 3.2 points during his OU career and added five double-digit scoring games. On Dec. 17, 2016, he tallied a career-high 18 points against Memphis. When Oklahoma played Rhode Island in the 2018 NCAA Tournament, Shepherd saw his last 10 minutes of action as a Sooner and drained both of his field goal attempts.
Following his sophomore season at Oklahoma University, he decided to enter the NCAA transfer portal. OU did not seem to be the right fit for Shepherd as it was too far from home for the North Carolina native. He realized after two years that he wanted to pursue other options and see what other opportunities were out there for him. Shepherd stated that Coach Ron Sanchez was recruiting him while he was still the coach at the University of Virginia before he knew he received the job as the head coach at Charlotte.
They built a good relationship during the process of Coach Sanchez’s school change and Shepherd’s transfer process. When Sanchez got the job at Charlotte, Jordan committed to be a 49er. One of the reasons he picked Charlotte was for the opportunity to lead a young team and reach his own maximum potential at the same time.
“Jordan is an outstanding addition to the Niners basketball family,” Sanchez said. “His playing experience at the highest level of college basketball will add maturity to our first incoming class. His leadership and character are invaluable qualities that will assist our program greatly.”
Another reason for making the switch to Charlotte was because it is only a two-hour commute to his hometown. He likes having the ability to go home to see family and friends on the free weekends he has available.
“It has been great; I love the city, my team and being around people here in Charlotte.” said Shepherd.
Even though Shepherd is a junior and lives with upperclassmen, he really clicked with the freshmen when he first came in. That’s not abnormal as a transfer because everyone is entering into a new environment and learning how to adapt.
A lot of things solidified his stance in knowing he made the right decision in coming to Charlotte and playing for Coach Sanchez and his staff.
“Every day. I come into practice every day, and with the things that we do, I’m very sure I made the right decision.” said Shepherd.
Out of all collegiate sports, men’s basketball seems to last the longest. With that being said, the free time may be minimal. Shepherd enjoys working out, reading, watching movies and hanging out with the guys. If you’re looking for a book suggestion, he recommends “The Alchemist.”
Per the NCAA rule of sitting out a year after transferring, Shepherd has not been participating in gameplay during the 2018-19 season. He has plenty of goals for next season, individually and collectively for his team as well. He wants to be the best player he can be, be a 50-40-90 guy, as well as earn the honor of being Conference Player of the Year. Shepherd believes in his team right now and for next year, but they lack some maturity. With his knowledge of the game and involvement at the highest level, he will be a great asset in his next two seasons of eligibility. His experience will carry over.
In Conference USA, anybody can win and a ring is on Shepherd’s mind, without a doubt. While being a junior, Shepherd is in a leadership role. Especially with having to sit out, he knows it is his role this season to help the underclassmen get better, while also pushing the older guys as well.
“These young guys, they’re new to the whole college basketball experience so I try to challenge them in different ways every day.” Shepherd said.
The Charlotte 49er men’s basketball team has had a rough season so far and Shepherd is looking forward to getting out there and contributing as much as possible next season. Those who know him know how eager he is to lace up his game shoes and play the sport he loves in front of people. While he is ready to accomplish his goal of joining the 50-40-90 club, he has done a great job in his role on the team this year.
“It’s been really tough, this is the first time in my life where I haven’t been able to play basketball in front of people; had to sit out and had to watch. It’s definitely a burning fire.” said Shepherd.
He is more than ready to take on the 2019-20 basketball season, so do not miss Shepherd in action next basketball season in Halton Arena!