Kiara Buford

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Three great Minnesota players



When former Minneapolis South girls’ basketball player TAYLER HILL played her first regular season game for the WNBA Washington Mystics last May, the shooting guard, who started four years at Ohio State University, joined a select few of City Conference players to make the transition from college to the league designed to give women the opportunity to play professionally in the United States. TRACY HENDERSON got things started after starring at Patrick Henry (1989-93) and the University of Georgia (1993-1997) by playing for the now-defunct WNBA Cleveland Rockers during the 1999, 2000 and 2001 seasons. This came about after starting at Georgia for four years and leading the Lady Bulldogs to the NCAA Final Four tournaments in 1995 and 1996. She played with Minneapolis North product BRANDI DECKER during her prep career. TAMARA MOORE, another former North player, who went on to play at the University of Wisconsin (1998-2002), started her WNBA career with the Minnesota Lynx and went on to play for six other teams  before calling it quits in 2007. Continue Reading →

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Prep Scene — Change of plans worked out nicely


Last Friday evening, the plan was to attend an important Classic Suburban Conference girls’ basketball matchup between host Tartan and Richfield. I wanted to see JESSICA JANUARY, Richfield’s leading scorer (headed to DePaul University next year), and Tartan’s TIA ELBERT, a junior guard whose scoring is off the charts with a metro-leading 36.4 points per game. I never made it. I got a call from a friend who made me aware of the fact that her daughter had gone with her middle-school basketball teammates to watch a St. Paul City Conference girls’ contest between Central and Como Park. Continue Reading →

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Metro prep stars grow up to become college winners


I took it easy this past week and watched five former metro-area prep basketball players help their college teams to key victories. Check this out! Sophomore center ROYCE WHITE (Hopkins), Mr. Basketball in 2009, had 18 points and nine rebounds in leading Iowa State to a 73-64 upset of fifth-ranked Kansas. Freshmen sensation RACHEL BANHAM (Lakeville North), named Miss Basketball in 2011, led the University of Minnesota women’s basketball team with 20 points in a 76-65 win over number-nine Ohio State. Senior guard KIARA BUFORD (St. Continue Reading →

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Three-point review of Gophers men’s and women’s basketball


By Charles Hallman
Staff Writer
A seven-game review of Minnesota women’s basketball at this point of the season yields the following three points:
First point: Billed before the season as the missing piece, Rachel Banham thus far seemingly has made a smoother transition as freshman starting point guard than her male counterpart Andre Hollins (more on him later). “I think she’s doing a great job getting a feel of things, and she’s playing a lot of minutes. She’s really pushing tempo and keeping our team playing fast,” surmises Coach Pam Borton. Second point: Will junior Leah Cotton ever play “unplugged”? Yes, she makes mistakes (i.e., silly fouls), but often makes up for it with hustle and ball hawking on defense. Continue Reading →

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