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Mount Notre Dame junior KK Bransford named Ohio Ms. Basketball

KK Bransford.jpg
Posted at 9:32 AM, Mar 31, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-31 10:18:29-04

READING, Ohio — Mount Notre Dame junior guard KK Bransford was named the Ohio Ms. Basketball winner on Wednesday morning.

"It's a really great accomplishment," Bransford said. "A lot of great girls have gotten this award so I'm just super excited, super happy. It's just like a cherry on top for state. That was my main goal but this is a really good accomplishment for me."

The school informed Bransford of her award on Monday.

"There couldn't be anybody more deserving than KK," MND coach Dr. Scott Rogers said.

Bransford, who helped to lead MND to the Division I state title this past season, is the first Greater Cincinnati player to win Ohio Ms. Basketball since Princeton's Kelsey Mitchell in 2014.

"It's huge for her and obviously it's huge for our program," Rogers said. "Huge for Cincinnati. I think it speaks volumes to KK and the coaches that she's had."

Bransford was named the Ohio Prep Sportswriters Association Division I state player of the year on Tuesday.

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Bransford, who is considering 12 college programs, averaged 21.4 points, 6.4 rebounds, 5.1 assists and 3.0 steals for the Cougars (28-0) this past season. She scored 21 points and had 10 assists and eight rebounds in MND's 57-55 double overtime win over Newark in the Division I state final March 13.

Bransford said she's replayed the state final in her mind multiple times.

"It was amazing," she said.

Bransford said the journey for MND was extra significant having played the state final at University of Dayton Arena in front of an increased number of fans from the regular season.

"Just having that for our last game meant everything to all of us just to be able to see people in the stands more than the two people allowed," Bransford said.

Bransford's versatility was evident this season. She was able to bring the ball up the court and also post up defenders. Her defense was evident in the tournament, too.

"She is just a super young lady and I'm really proud for her and her parents and our coaches and our players," Rogers said. "She is going to give them all the credit. I'm really happy for her."

This month was MND's eighth state girls basketball championship overall - the most in Ohio High School Athletic Association history. MND, ranked No. 4 nationally by MaxPreps, has won 72 consecutive games.

Bransford is the third MND basketball player to win the prestigious award, joining Kendall Hackney (2009) and Mel Thomas (2004).

Bransford has 1,600 career points, according to the MND athletic department. She has been a first-team all-state selection the past two seasons. She is nominated for the Ohio Gatorade player of the year award, too.

"Mel and KK they've got that it factor," Rogers said. "They have a basketball IQ that is more like a coach's. They are thinking two or three passes and where everybody has to be. And that just raises everybody game up and it raises your mental acuity up. It's really good for everybody."

Bransford is the ninth Greater Cincinnati player overall to win Ohio Ms. Basketball since 1988.

The Ohio Ms. Basketball award has been annually awarded since 1988. Seton's Janet Haneberg was the first recipient.

The boys basketball All-Ohio teams will be announced starting April 5.