Sheppard displays on 2022 WNBA title, joins Evan Hughes on Hokie Sports activities Insider Podcast

September 28, 2022

Following the Las Vegas Aces’ series-clinching 78-71 win over the Connecticut Solar on September 18, former Virginia Tech girls’s basketball participant Aisha Sheppard has been topped a WNBA champion. The Aces defeated the Solar in 4 video games to win the 2022 WNBA title, its first in franchise historical past.

Virginia Tech’s highest-ever draft choice, Sheppard was taken with the twenty third general choose within the 2022 WNBA Draft again in April. She performed in 23 of the Aces’s 36 common season video games, averaging 7.6 minutes and 1.5 factors per recreation and backing up maybe probably the most dynamic again court docket within the league. The Aces three beginning guards, Chelsea Grey, Kelsey Plum and Jackie Younger, have all gained Olympic gold medals.

Sheppard, this system’s all-time chief in video games performed and factors scored, grew to become the primary Virginia Tech student-athlete to be named All-ACC thrice. She was additionally named to the ACC All-Match Staff in Greensboro in 2022 and was a two-time ACC All-Educational Staff choice.

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The Alexandria, Virginia native broke her personal single-season 3-point mark and the ACC’s profession 3FG report in 2021-22 with 96 triples made.

She concluded her profession in first place all-time within the ACC with 402 3-pointers scored, and he or she owns the highest three single-season performances in that class at Tech. Sheppard earned Honorable Point out All-America honors in 2021 and was additionally acknowledged because the Skelton Award for Educational Excellence in Athletics in 2021.

Evan Hughes, the host of the Hokie Sports activities Insider Podcast had the possibility to interview her by way of Zoom not too long ago to recap what her first season as an expert athlete has been like, in addition to replicate on her 5 years in Blacksburg carrying maroon and orange.

Interview highlights:

Aisha on ‘taking all of it in since profitable the WNBA championship’: It is onerous to wrap your thoughts round what simply occurred to you. Six months in the past, I used to be a Hokie. I used to be having fun with time being a university scholar and enjoying basketball and now I am an expert athlete and I simply gained my first main championship after a childhood stuffed with desires to take action. It has been unbelievable.

Aisha on being coached by Becky Hammon: She jogs my memory numerous Coach Brooks. What you see is what you get. I like that for myself particularly as a result of it was seamless going from one program to the league so it is simply been superior. 

Aisha evaluating the types of Kenny Brook and Becky Hammon: We will shoot the three and we’ll pound it inside. It is simply been seamless, she loves spacing the ground and he or she loves her shooters, she completely loves her shooters.

Aisha on the transition to the WNBA and dealing with Coach Hammon: She did not ask me to do something that was outdoors of what I do. She wished me to shoot the three. In the event that they ran me off the road, get to a pull up. In the event that they take that away, drop it off to a teammate. These are issues I labored with Coach Brooks on my entire whole profession up till this second, so it is simply been great.

Aisha on Coach Brooks carrying her VT jersey within the workplace to have fun her achievement: I feel that Coach on this second he is like a proud papa. I left the nest and now I am coming again a champion and he has had a hand in all of it. I would not be the place I’m with out his assist and permitting me to begin a brand new tradition and simply all of the issues that he allowed me to do whereas I used to be at Tech. I wholeheartedly imagine I would not be right here with out him.

Aisha on her time at VT resulting in WNBA success: It taught me easy methods to be resilient. There have been instances early on in my profession the place I did not get numerous the minutes, there have been different individuals forward of me and it simply wasn’t my time, however I continued to persevere. I feel that resiliency has been my motto and my mantra for the previous yr and a half. I went by means of some stuff, particularly with my ankle damage and I do not suppose that I performed the best way that I actually wished to play my final yr at Tech. After all, I walked away with some unbelievable accolades however I simply did not really feel like myself and I used to be extraordinarily onerous on myself after which I obtained drafted.