Aisha Sheppard Selected By Las Vegas Aces in 2022 WNBA Draft

Aisha Sheppard left quite a legacy at Virginia Tech. (Virginia Tech sports photography)

Aisha Sheppard might’ve heard her name called earlier than expected on Monday night.

During the 2022 WNBA Draft, 11 picks into the second round, the Las Vegas Aces selected Sheppard with the No. 23 overall pick. The highest overall selection in Virginia Tech history, Sheppard becomes just the sixth Hokie to be taken in the draft. She’s the first since Regan Magarity in 2019, who joined the Connecticut Sun after she was drafted in the third round.

Sheppard was the first player to commit to head coach Kenny Brooks after he arrived in 2016. The fifth-year guard was a five-star recruit from Alexandria, Va. before playing high school basketball for St. John’s in Washington D.C., where she was named Gatorade High School Player of the Year.

After accepting a bench role during her first two seasons, she morphed into one of the best — if not the best — scorers in program history. Coming into the 2021-22 season, she needed 345 points to become the leading scorer in Virginia Tech’s history.

She got that and more. Sheppard finished her career with 1,883 points, broke the ACC women’s basketball record for career 3-pointers made with 402, and was a three-time All-ACC honoree (first team in 2021, second team in 2020 and honorable mention in 2022). In addition, she was named an All-AP Honorable mention for her efforts in 2020-21, where she averaged 17.7 points, 2.7 rebounds and three assists per game, while scoring 20 or more points in nine games.

Sheppard leads Tech in all-time games played with 159 posted a career-high 32 points in a loss to Virginia in February 2020. She shot 37.2% from behind the arc in her five seasons while averaging 11.8 points per game.

But to Sheppard, her character defines her more than her play on the court. That was evident in 2021 when she was recognized as the Skelton Award for Academic Excellence in Athletics, while also a three-time All-ACC Team selection.

Sheppard finished her career as Tech’s all-time leading scorer. (Virginia Tech sports photography)

“The biggest thing I want people to know is that I stayed the course, trusted the process and I allowed myself to be a great teammate,” Sheppard said at the ACC media day in mid-October when asked to describe her legacy. “I tried my best to be the best leader I could. And overall, I tried to be a Hokie — one that people can talk to and look up to. My character is something I want people to realize more than anything.”

She could have left after last season when her stock was likely the highest to join the WNBA, but she committed to Tech for one final dance as she used her extra COVID-blanket year to return for a fifth season with Brooks.

Before the season, she and her team had the goal to win the ACC Championship — the only real conference accolade she really missed out on throughout her successful tenure at VT. While it ultimately didn’t happen after a semifinal loss to NC State in the ACC Tournament derailed their hopes, the Hokies earned their best seed (No. 5) in the NCAA Tournament since 2005.

Sheppard’s career at Tech ended in a first round loss to No. 12 Florida Gulf Coast in College Park, Md., where she scored nine points on three treys. She’ll join Vegas’s first rounder Kierstan Bell, who scored 22 points in the Golden Eagles’ win over the Hokies on March 18.

5 Responses You are logged in as Test

  1. The nice thing is you know she will be successful and make us proud not just in basketball but life! Love those Hokies!!!

  2. All the best to one of the best. We will cheer you on as you add to your resume in your next career.

  3. Congratulations on a great career and the best of luck with your pro career – you really made a difference to the VT Women’s Basketball program.

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