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 courtroom within the league. The Aces three beginning guards, Chelsea Gray, Kelsey Plum and Jackie Younger, have all received Olympic gold medals.
Sheppard, this system’s all-time chief in video games performed and factors scored, turned the primary Virginia Tech student-athlete to be named All-ACC 3 times. She was additionally named to the ACC All-Event Workforce in Greensboro in 2022 and was a two-time ACC All-Educational Workforce choice.
The Alexandria, Virginia native broke her personal single-season 3-point mark and the ACC’s profession 3FG document 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 Hughesthe host of the Hokie Sports activities Insider Podcast had the prospect to interview her through Zoom lately to recap what her first season as knowledgeable athlete has been like, in addition to replicate on her 5 years in Blacksburg carrying maroon and orange.
Aisha on ‘taking all of it in since profitable the WNBA championship’: It is arduous 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 knowledgeable athlete and I simply received my first main championship after a childhood filled with goals to take action. It has been unbelievable.
Aisha on being coached by Becky Hammon: She jogs my memory of quite a lot of Coach Brooks. What you see is what you get. I really 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 whole whole profession up till this second, so it is simply been super.
Aisha on Coach Brooks carrying her VT jersey within the workplace to have fun her achievement: I feel that Coach at this second he is like a proud papa. I left the nest and now I am coming again to a champion and he has had a hand in all of it. I might n’t be the place I’m with out his assist from him and permitting me to start out 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 might n’t 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 occasions early on in my profession the place I did not get quite a lot of the minutes, there have been different folks forward of me and it simply wasn’t my time, however I continued to persevere. I feel that resilience has been my motto and my mantra for the previous 12 months and a half. I went by some stuff, particularly with my ankle damage and I do not assume that I performed the way in which that I actually wished to play my final 12 months at Tech. In fact, I walked away with some unimaginable accolades however I simply did not I really feel like myself and I used to be extraordinarily arduous on myself after which I acquired drafted.