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Nebraska basketball recruit, Jessica Shepard is right at home

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Jessica Shepard (Lincoln, Neb.), a University of Nebraska recruit, feels right at home at Fremont High (Neb.) according to a ESPNW article on January 2.

Shepard, a 6-4 junior, transferred back to Fremont High School after having a tremendous sophomore season where she led Southeast (Lincoln) High School to the Class A state title. She was named the 2013 Nebraska Gatorade Player of the Year after averaging 24.6 points and 11.1 rebounds along with 2.5 assists. Shepard also caused havoc for opponents, registering 2.0 blocks and 1.8 steals a a game

Despite her success on the court, Shepard left Southeast for Fremont – a small town with 30,000 residents, due to her father, Mark, becoming the superintendent of Fremont's schools. She lived in Fremont until the seventh grade.

While Shepard didn’t necessary want to leave Southeast she knew it was best for her family, and she was going to make the best of the situation.

"When my dad told me we were moving, I was really excited just because I was going to get to play with the girls I grew up with," Shepard said. "But I was also a little upset because I had gone to Southeast for two years, and we had success."

In two years, Shepard helped Southeast post a combined record of 49-5, leading the team to two berths in the state final.

Southeast lost 36-35 to Omaha Central in 2012 and then beat Bellevue West 65-57 in the 2013 state final. Shepard had 26 points and 19 rebounds against Bellevue West -- her last game in a Southeast uniform.

For Fremont Shepard’s return has been a blessing.

Fremont, which has never won a state title in girls' basketball, was 9-15 last year and missed the out on the playoffs.

Now with Shepard and sophomore point guard Rylie Cascio Jensen, who transferred from Bellevue East, the Tigers are ranked 42nd overall in the state by Maxpreps.com and third in Class A.

Fremont is 9-1 on the season, which includes a 45-41 victory over Southeast (Lincoln) in the semifinals of the Heartland Athletic Conference Holiday Tournament on Dec. 30. Shepard tossed in 30 points versus her old mates.

The next night Fremont defeated Northeast (Lincoln) 64-50 to win the tournament crown. Shepard scored 18 of her team-high 26 points in the second half as the Tigers pulled away. She was 8-of-12 from the field and 10-of-10 at the free-throw line, Shepard also hauled in 22 caroms.

Shepard, ESPN HoopGurlz No. 5 prospect in the class of 2015, is currently averaging 33.2 points, 16.1 rebounds and 4.1 assists so far this season. She verbally committed to Nebraska as a freshman.

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