Tariq Shepherd, the two-star point guard out of Detroit, shunned the bright light of a Division I basketball offer from hometown university Detroit Mercy and other schools to select LeMoyne-Owen College as his college choice.
Shepherd is a 5’11’ guard from SPIRE Institute prep school in Geneva, Ohio. He played for East English High School in Detroit from the ninth through the 11th grade.
Skilled to be either a playmaker or a scoring guard, Shepherd can score six or eight points with 20 assists or he can go off for 30 points.
He played on The Family AAU team with high-caliber players such as Greg Elliott (Marquette) and Mark Rocket Watts Jr. (Michigan State). The team competed on the elite EBYL Nike basketball circuit.
Shepherd is a son of a basketball coach. His father, Durand Shepherd, was the head coach of St. Martin De Pores High School from 1999-2007. His team won a Michigan state championship in 2003 in Class C.
The senior Shepherd has coached McDonald’s All-American (2003) Brandon Cotton and Jordan Brand All-Star (2006) Derrell Summers. Both played for Michigan State.
Coach Shepherd said about his son,
“I just wanted my son to pick the school that would make him happy,” said Shepherd.
“I think the Black Lives Matter movement had an impact on his decision. (LeMoyne-Owen head men’s) Coach William Anderson did a great job of making him feel like he was at home.”
Shepherd said his son wants to help create a movement for future players to attend historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs). He wants to be at LeMoyne-Owen College for four years to make a name for himself and to put the school on the map.
The younger Shepherd’s decision mirrors one made earlier this month by highly ranked prep basketball player Makur Maker, who announced he would play for HBCU Howard University.
Maker is ranked No. 16 on the ESPN 100 list for 2020. His announcement made national headlines because he was the first five-star prospect to commit to an HBCU since ESPN began ranking prospects in 2007, according to The Undefeated.
When he is not in the gym, Shepherd is a tennis shoe collector and plays 2K games. Although he is a shy person, he attracts others to him and he shows great leadership.
LOC’s Anderson is not like most Division II coaches. He targets several top-tier recruits to play for his team. Most coaches think this is a waste of time, but Anderson knows it will pay off either on the front end or on a player’s decision later down the road.
Anderson has developed deep relationships across the country. He has coached for more than 20 years on the Nike circuit.
Shepherd is not the first player from Detroit to play for the Magicians. Charlie Edge and Smokey Gaines blazed the trail. Both players have had their jerseys retired by the school.
The thing that impressed Anderson the most about Shepherd was his leadership skills. He will bring a different mindset and is a coach on the floor. His teammates will respect him on the court.