HOPKINS, Minn. (WCCO) — Watch Paige Bueckers play, you realize right away that she’s something special. One of the best players in the whole state.

She’s Hopkins’ leading scorer — 20 points a game — who also happens to be their leader in assists.

And also happens to be just a freshman.

“Since I’ve been coaching the best freshman I’ve ever seen was probably Tayler Hill. But, you know, she’s right there. She’s right there. I’ve never had one as good as Paige,” coach Brian Cosgriff said.

That of course being Minneapolis South’s Tayler Hill, now of the WNBA’s Washington Mystics. But not even Hill was named to the all-tournament team at state as an 8th grader, like Bueckers was last season. A player way ahead of the curve.

“She’s been that way her whole life. I first saw her play when she was in third, fourth grade at halftime at the University of Minnesota women’s game. We were like, ‘Holy cow, who’s that little kid out there, doing all that stuff?'” Cosgriff said.

“It’s a lot of repetition in practice, and just training, just going to the gym to shoot a lot, just working on your game, never be satisfied. Someone’s always chasing to get better than you,” Bueckers said.

“I’m just never satisfied with being as good as I am. I just always want to get better. Just prepares me for the future, if I want to go to the WNBA, or something like that.”

Is that the goal?

“Yeah, hope so,” Bueckers said.

“I do know this, she’s hungry, and she wants to be the best she can possibly be,” Cosgriff said. “And I know that she’s going to put the time in to try and get really good. And she’s already really good, but she’s going to get stronger, and she’s going to get more mature. I think the sky’s the limit for her, I really do. “

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