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Whoop-de-doo! Time to move on.

So, the Portland Trailblazers selected Shaedon Sharpe as the seventh overall pick in the first round of the 2022 NBA draft.

My response is a sarcastic “Whoop-de-doo!”

Don’t get me wrong. I’m personally happy for the guy. But I’m no happier for him than I was for Paulo Banchero (Orlando), Chet Holmgren (Oklahoma City), Jabari Smith (Houston), Keegan Murray (Sacramento), Jaden Ivey (Detroit), or Bennedict Mathurin (Indiana)—the top six picks who also fulfilled their lifelong dreams on draft night.

Although the draft announcement proclaimed Sharpe as “from the University of Kentucky,” the reality is that the London, Ontario, native had no real affinity for the blue and white. Oh sure, he wore the checkerboards openly in practice. But in the end, his heart—rather than beating blue—ached a lot more for green.

In hindsight, it certainly appears that for Sharpe and his handlers, UK was nothing more than a way station on his path to immeasurable NBA riches. Not that there’s anything technically wrong with that. Sharpe did what he thought was best for him. It’s just that he did it in a way that misled his teammates, embarrassed his head coach, and ticked off most of BBN.

“I did talk to Cal about it, my coach, trainer, even my parents,” Sharpe said during the pre-draft process. “But, at the end of the day, it was my decision to not play.”

To add insult to injury, Sharpe followed up his comments with some poorly timed bravado.

“I see myself being one of the greatest players to ever play the game of basketball,” he boasted. “Playing at the highest level, just getting after it, competing. One of my goals coming in as a rookie is being Rookie of the Year. That’s one of the goals. And then, All-Star, And later on, Hall of Fame.”

Kentucky fans are quick to welcome and embrace nearly everyone into their ranks. The only thing they ask for in return is some loyalty and allegiance. They want players who want to be here. That’s why they love Sharpe’s cohort, TyTy Washington, who played while injured this past season—even though it eventually hurt his draft stock. That’s also why Enes Kanter—who even though like Sharpe never logged an official minute in his few short months on campus—will always be considered a Wildcat for life.

Not so with Sharpe. Not only did he purposely choose not to play for the Wildcats, he also lied about his intentions along the way. His body was on the bench, but his heart never arrived in Lexington. That won’t endear him to the Wildcat faithful.

The reality is that Shaedon Sharpe was never really a Wildcat. For that reason, it’s high time we all moved on. I’m wiping him forever from my memory banks. Unless I’m writing about the NBA, you won’t hear me mention his name again.

Dr. John Huang is a UK columnist for Nolan Group Media and editor-in-chief of He also covers the NFL and MLB for Sports View America. You can follow him on Twitter @KYHuangs. If you enjoy his writing, be sure to check out his new book, KENTUCKY PASSION.

Dr. John Huang
Dr. John Huang is a retired orthodontist and military veteran. As a lifelong Wildcat fan, a fledgling author, and an occasional guest host of Just the Cats Radio, he's now living out his dream as a UK Sports columnist. Dr. Huang also covers professional sports on a regional level. You can follow him on Twitter @KYHuangs or contact him If you enjoy his writing, you can also read more at

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2 thoughts on “Whoop-de-doo! Time to move on.

  1. Thank you Roger Harden for the article about Eddie Sutton! I totally agree with what you said. He was a great coach and a good man!

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