"We're very proud to announce the arrival of Jeff Sheppard," IK President Greg Vincent said. "His arrival helps establish ourselves as the place for Kentucky Basketball. Jeff represents the Wildcat dreamer in us all and is a role model for young people of every generation."
Sheppard arrived Lexington having always wanted to play basketball at Kentucky; "As a kid growing up in Georgia," Sheppard said. "I didn't really know where the love for Kentucky Basketball came from but I'm sure glad it's there."
"Just like most kids in Georgia we dream about playing football "between the hedges" for the Georgia Bulldogs," Sheppard explained, "and I was no different. Until around the 6th grade when our English teacher told us to write a journal entry with the title "If I could trade places with anyone who would it be?" I wrote that I would trade places with Larry Bird and play for the Boston Celtics in the NBA, but first I wanted to play for the University of Kentucky and go to a final four."
"I learned so much from my days at Kentucky and count it a true honor to wear the Blue and White across my chest for 5 years and represent my self, my teammates, my University, and the people of the State of Kentucky."
Sheppard experienced every Wildcat fans' dream when he finished off a senior campaign with a national championship.
"My senior season was very special to me and I learned more and continue to learn from that year and the experiences I went through as an individual and the experiences we went through as a team. Coach Pitino left for Boston and we went through a leadership change. Our team had been to 2 consecutive final games. We had lost 2 NBA first round picks, but we had a lot of individual talent and even better individual attitudes that led to an awesome team attitude. The potential for a special season was definitely still around."
After his career at Kentucky, Sheppard played 1 year with the Atlanta Hawks and 3 years in Italy.
"God has been so good to us as a family," Sheppard said. "After playing several seasons in Italy it is great to be home in Kentucky with my family."
Jeff has one little girl, Madison, whom he and his wife, Stacey spend most of their time these days with.
Casey Johnson to Lead Message Boards
Inside Kentucky also announces a change in leadership on our message boards, announcing moderator Casey Johnson as the new head moderator.
"Ever since I have joined IK, whether it be as a poster or on staff," Johnson said. "I have felt like I was in a home-like atmosphere. I love it here, and I love the people. My commitment to making this successful is deep, and I hope that is apparent to everyone who is involved and enjoys our site as I do. I promise to be a servant more than an administrator to the board, and I hope that it helps to preserve a family atmosphere here at "home." I want everyone to feel free to come to me directly, and they will have every avenue to do so. This can be for message board issues or for premium members who may want me to make a special contact for them regarding recruiting."
On the message boards in general...
The message boards here are a very important part of our home at Inside Kentucky because they allow all of us fans of the Big Blue to gather and discuss a common passion in life. We may not all agree on what it takes for the Wildcats to win the next national title, but we allow everyone to speak their mind about how they feel. From a business standpoint, we see the boards as important also because they are solely responsible for much of the traffic we generate here at IK. The boards deserve the utmost attention, and I am committed to giving it the love it deserves so that it is an enjoyable place for everyone.
On my immediate plans for Inside Kentucky...
First of all, Inside Kentucky is founded on a Christian base, and we have to get there and maintain that. That is what our management and administration will follow, and we believe, we know, it will have a positive impact on our Website. In order to do that, I am creating explicit guidelines and processes for our moderators and administration to follow. In another step, these guidelines will be made available to the public in an abbreviated form along with my contact information in the event something needs to be addressed. The next step will be general message board guidelines. We have needed those for awhile, but the only drastic changes to the board will be what is sorely needed, consistency. The posters will be held to those rules, and the moderators will be held to those rules in addition to the moderator guidelines. All of this will be public, and it will not be anything over the top. Life will be very good here at Inside Kentucky for posters, I truly believe that.
Once we get our structure in place, I will begin to shift to working on...
innovative things for our members. We will have special events and perks for our members here at IK, and we already have some of those ideas on paper. For now, it's just building what we envision. I can't push enough how much that our moderators and I need to be servants to the board, taking ideas and requests every day. I want it to be family, and everyone is welcome to help make it that way.
"The changes I mentioned have already been made. We have, of course, made other changes that were harder to make - but we are committed to making IK the best it can be. We believe everything we have done so far is for the best. We'll continue to make improvements as we go along, so I am really excited about it."