Jaren Shelby will return to Kentucky for 2021 season

The senior outfielder is third player to take advantage of NCAA eligibility relief for spring sports


LEXINGTON, Ky. (UK Athletics) – Kentucky senior outfielder Jaren Shelby will return for the 2021 season, taking advantage of the NCAA’s ruling on eligibility relief for spring sports student-athletes whose season was cut short due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

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He joins fellow seniors T.J. Collett and Zeke Lewis in returning to Lexington for a final season.


“Lexington is home and Kentucky is family,” Shelby said. “It’s been an honor to represent Kentucky baseball in front of family, friends and the BBN. I’m not ready to walk away from that blessing just yet. To my teammates and coaches, let’s ride together one last time and do something that’s never been done before. Let’s make history.”


Shelby, who hails from Lexington, has been a driving force for the Wildcats the past two seasons. His combination of speed and athleticism keyed the offense from the top of the order, where he’s hit .270 with 39 runs, 19 extra-base hits and 41 RBI while also stealing 19 bases in 22 attempts. In 65 career games he’s posted an .811 OPS.


The third member of the Shelby family to play at UK, the Tates Creek High School product has a flair for the dramatic, delivering highlight-reel catches in the outfield and clutch, late-inning home runs. Shelby also stole five bases against Eastern Kentucky in 2019, becoming the first Southeastern Conference player to do so in 22 years.


The 5-foot-11, 200-pound dynamo was just heating up when the 2020 season was cut short. He had logged a hit in five straight games, scoring seven runs and setting new career highs with three hits and three runs on March 8 vs. Oakland. He finished with as many walks as strikeouts and a perfect 6-for-6 on stolen base attempts.


Like Collett and Lewis, Shelby graduated in May with a degree in communication and was a member of the SEC Honor Roll.

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Bryan Kennedy hails from the Bluegrass State. He was born and raised in Owensboro, KY where he graduated from Apollo High School in 2006. Bryan graduated from the University of Kentucky with a degree in Broadcast Journalism and a minor in Spanish in 2010. He also received his master's degree in Sports Media and Branding from Western Kentucky University. While at UK, Bryan was the general manager of the on-campus TV station. He also did sports reporting, anchoring, producing and even the weather for UK Student News Network. While working for UKSNN, he also had the pleasure of covering Coach John Calipari's first press conference when he was introduced as the new head coach of the Kentucky Wildcats; easily one of his favorite moments as a young sports reporter. Before coming to ABC 36, Bryan was a morning anchor and reporter at WXXV News 25, our sister station in Gulfport, MS. He anchored more than four hours of news every day, including morning shows on NBC and Fox. While down south, Bryan had the opportunity to cover the Sugar Bowl, New Orleans Saints and the New Orleans Pelicans. After spending a little more than two years at WXXV, Bryan is extremely excited to return home. In his spare time, Bryan enjoys playing sports, especially rugby. He also enjoys crossfitting and watching sports (obviously). He's extremely excited to cover Central Kentucky. Feel free to say hello and send story ideas toBKennedy@wtvq.com