Tommy Sheppard, General Manager
Tommy Sheppard enters his 28th year of service in the NBA and his third as general manager of the Washington Wizards. As general manager, Sheppard will lead strategy, analytics, player personnel, scouting and coaching for the Wizards, Go-Go and District Gaming.
Sheppard has earned a reputation as one of the league’s most innovative and creative executives. In his first draft as general manager, he selected Rui Hachimura with the ninth overall pick. Hachimura was selected to the 2019-20 NBA All-Rookie Second Team, becoming the fifth player overall in franchise history to be selected to the team. Sheppard followed that selection in 2020 with Deni Avdija, who was selected as a member of the Rising Stars Challenge alongside Hachimura, although the game was not played due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In 18 years in the Wizards’ front office, his role included responsibilities with salary cap management, negotiations, draft preparation and talent evaluation of collegiate athletes and professionals, both domestically and abroad. Sheppard also served an assisting role in the recruitment and evaluation of free agents, statistical evaluation of NBA players, the hiring of coaches and personnel and monitoring the Wizards’ efforts in the NBA’s Player Programs. During his tenure with the team, he has been tasked with organizing the Wizards’ training camp and preseason schedules, overseeing the athletic training, strength training, video, technology and equipment areas for the team, and directing in-arena renovations to areas including the Wizards’ locker room, players’ lounge, family lounge and front offices.
Prior to his arrival in Washington in 2003, Sheppard was a member of the Denver Nuggets organization since 1994, serving as the Nuggets’ Senior Director of Team Services and Player Relations. With Denver, he oversaw all internal and external communications functions and served as the club’s primary spokesperson. He also scouted internationally and evaluated high school, collegiate and minor league talent. For his efforts in Denver and overall contributions to the communications efforts of the NBA, Sheppard was honored with the prestigious Splaver/McHugh “Tribute to Excellence” Award in 2010, which is given annually by the NBA Public Relations Directors’ Association to a current or former member of the NBA public relations family who has demonstrated an outstanding level of performance and service during his or her NBA career.
An active figure within the United States Olympic Movement for over a decade, Sheppard worked as a press attaché for the three Summer Olympic Games (1996, 2000, 2004), as well as three Olympic Festivals and the 2003 Pan American Games. He assisted with the formation of the Northern European Basketball League (which realigned as part of FIBA Europe) and continues to serve as a consultant for Lithuanian legend Sarunas Marciulionis, who was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 2014, on various basketball projects.
Currently an adjunct professor at Georgetown University for the Sports Industry Management Program, Sheppard graduated from New Mexico State University in 1991, where he was a three-year member of the Aggie football team. After getting his start in media relations as a student assistant at New Mexico State, Sheppard headed the sports information office at UNLV before taking ranks in the National Basketball Association in 1994. He also serves on the Industry Advisory Council for the American Public University and the American Military University Systems. Sheppard and his wife, Rosie, are the parents of five daughters: Bailey, Rebekah, Abby, Emma and Tessa, and two sons, Tommy Jr., and Luke.