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Ben Sheppard: From Bruin to Pacer

Updated: Jun 24

Ever since Belmont basketball star Ben Sheppard declared for the 2023 NBA Draft, fans may have been wondering what team he would be playing for in the 2023-24 season.

On Thursday night, they finally got their answer.

The 6-foot-6 guard was drafted with the 26th overall pick by the Indiana Pacers, joining a team with promising young players, such as Tyrese Haliburton, Bennedict Mathurin, Myles Turner and Jarace Walker.

This past season, Sheppard averaged 18.8 points, 5.2 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game.

He was also one of four players in college basketball with at least 600 points, 150 rebounds, 75 assists and 75 3-point field goals while shooting at least 40 percent from the 3-point distance, earning him an invite to the 2023 NBA Combine in Chicago.

It was there where Sheppard increased his draft stock, having the fastest shuttle time of 2.98 seconds while scoring 25 points and adding 4 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals in his final combine game.

After the combine, Sheppard worked out with teams, such as the Los Angeles Lakers, the Golden State Warriors, the Los Angeles Clippers, the New Orleans Pelicans and the Portland Trail Blazers.

But Indiana was the team that drafted him after it was rumored the team was “eyeing a mid-major riser on draft boards.”

Sheppard joins Joe Gaines, who was selected No. 81 by the Portland Trail Blazers in 1972, and Dylan Windler, who was also selected No. 26 by the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2019, as the third Belmont player selected in the NBA Draft.

Sheppard was introduced at a Pacers' press conference on Friday.

From there, he will participate on the Pacers’ NBA Summer League team in Las Vegas from July 7-17, hoping to showcase his talents to an even wider audience.

This article was written by Ty Wellemeyer

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