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Shepard making immediate impact with Notre Dame

From FOX Sports - November 15, 2017

NEW YORK (AP)One of the first calls that Jessica Shepard made when she found out that she was granted immediate eligibility at Notre Dame was to her 90-year-old grandfather.

He was one of the people to get her into basketball, starting when she was 3 years old. Lately, hes been the one who was calling her every day, seeing if the waiver that would let her play at Notre Dame right awayinstead of sitting out the year that most transfers dowas granted.

I think he was more excited than anyone else when I told him, Shepard said in a phone interview with The Associated Press. Hes someone growing up that I always worked out with in the gym.

Shepard grew up in Nebraska and had dreamed of playing for the Huskers. She got her wish, starring for the team in her two seasons. She shattered the schools freshman scoring record and became the first player at Nebraska to earn first-team all-conference honors as a freshman.

Her sophomore year she was second-team all-conference, but a coaching change after her freshman season didnt really help the 6-foot-4 forward. She gave the new coaches a chance, sticking around for her sophomore season before deciding to leave.

I really enjoyed my time there, but they were going in a different direction by rebuilding and I wanted a bigger challenge, Shepard said over the summer when she was at the Under-23 USA Basketball camp. I wanted a chance to compete for championships and thought I had that at Notre Dame.

Shepard said at the training camp she was prepared to sit out the season per NCAA transfer rules, making her eligibility come as a bit of a surprise. The NCAA doesnt share what specific information is in waivers, stating privacy laws.

The junior forward didnt go into specifics of what her waiver said except to say that it was an accumulation of personal reasons and different things like that.

Notre Dame senior associate athletics director Jill Bodensteiner was involved with the petition.

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