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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. 

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