MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Kiara Buford’s an all-around player for the Gopher women’s basketball team.

She leads the team in scoring, assists, steals. She’s also been in the spotlight with another Twin Cities guard for years.

Buford has been playing against Tayler Hill for years. The two guards — Buford with St. Paul Central and Hill with Minneapolis South — have had their share of battles in high school and now in college.

“We were pretty good friends also. In high school, we were rivals, but it was a friendly sort of rivalry. I mean, I enjoyed playing her,” said Buford. “When we play Ohio State, I always look forward to it.”

Buford will play at least two games against Hill and Ohio State in her final season at the University of Minnesota.

Gophers head coach Pam Borton has the confidence to leave things in the senior’s hands on the floor at all times.

“She’s the player on the floor. She’s the go-to player. She’s a player that’s going to give you everything she’s got,” said Borton. “She’s the one who will step up and make plays when they need to be made.”

Teammates agree that Buford’s leadership qualities have elevated her game since she was a freshman.

“Kiara has very much emerged right away as a freshman into a player that’s not only a playmaker on the floor but also a leader on the floor,” said teammate Jackie Voigt. “I’ve loved having the chance to play with her these last four years.”

“I want my teammates to know what they’re going to get out of me every night,” said Buford.




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