Skip to main content

They couldn't afford their state title rings, until Minnesota stepped in

It's a heartwarming story that really hits home for their coach.

What's happening?

Kiara Buford is finally going to get a well-deserved championship ring, and so are her players at the state title-winning Robbinsdale Cooper girls' basketball team. 

A long wait for a ring

Minnesota teams that win championships receive a trophy/plaque from the Minnesota State High School League, in addition to each player getting a medal. 

Players and coaches then have the option to buy championship rings, which Buford, who as a player won back-to-back state titles at St. Paul Central High School in 2007 and 2008, couldn't afford as a student.

Recognizing that the Cooper girls also needed help buying rings, Cooper football coach, Willie Howard, a former second-round pick by the Vikings in 2001, started a GoFundMe with hopes of raising $5,000 to get everyone a ring. 

"However, with all this success Coach Buford was not able to afford a ring for herself from her championship runs. And, now, our girls also need help to purchase their championship ring."

It's been four days since the fundraiser began and as of 11 a.m. on Tuesday it has already surpassed its goal, raising $5,250. 

Making HERstory

"Making HERstory" was Cooper's mantra all season long as they sought to become the first girls' team in school history to reach the state basketball tournament. 

They accomplished that goal and then set another by beating Northfield 49-37 in the Class AAA state championship game, finishing the season at No. 1 in Class AAA with a final record of 29-2. 

Next Up

Hopkins Basketball

Hopkins suffers rare loss to No. 1 ranked Sidwell Friends

The Royals held their own in a battle of the nation's best.

argue-wertman booking photos

Charges: 2 teens responsible for violent carjacking spree across Twin Cities

They face a combined 31 felony counts, all tied to carjackings and related crimes.

rep nolan west mn house

MN rep. says he was 'assaulted' at activist group's public meeting

The Republican said a man grabbed his arms and yanked him from the room.

Screen Shot 2022-01-20 at 12.56.52 PM

What were the 'bizarre things' seen in Minnesota's sky?

The mysterious streaks were not UFOs and they weren't pieces of an asteroid.

icicles, freezing weather, cold weather

Booming noises in the night could be frost quakes

The loud sounds are most likely to happen during the middle of the night.

coronavirus, coronavirus test, covid-19

Free COVID testing site to open in St. Paul for 3 weeks

The federal testing site comes as demand for testing remains high.

Reyel Simmons photo 1 - complaint - crop

MN TikToker accused of faking federal agent life pleads guilty

He told his 10,000 followers he was a Homeland Security agent — authorities say it was a lie.

Wilf

Report: Vikings request second interview with 2 GM candidates

Ryan Poles of the Chiefs and Kwesi Adofo-Mensah of the Browns.

Amaya Battle

Hopkins takes on No. 1 team in the country on ESPNU Friday

The game will feature a pair of top recruits in the Class of 2022.

st. paul federation of educators - teachers

Educators in Minneapolis, St. Paul could strike amid contract negotiations

Teachers and support staff are demanding smaller class sizes, mental health support and better pay.

turtinen two harbors

MN mayor in hot water for hawking $400M underwater hotel plan

The city council called a special meeting to discuss the mayor's public comments.

Related

It's championship Saturday at the girls' state basketball tournament

Eastview and Sauk Centre are aiming for perfect seasons.

Here are the brackets for the boys' state basketball tournament

This tourney absolutely loaded from top to bottom.

Watch: Awesome view of Mayer Lutheran's wild buzzer-beater to reach State

Cole Hagan is his name and hitting buzzer beaters is his game.

shot clock

MSHSL to discuss shot clocks, proposed 4A basketball changes

The board of directors will meet Monday to discuss the proposals.

Section realignment brings changes to MN high school sports

These are some of the changes made to sections for next year.

high school basketball

3 days of section championships set in MN boys basketball

Minnesota's version of March madness is upon us.

Remembering great starting fives in MN basketball history

Minnesota has seen some incredible starting fives over the years.