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Lafayette’s Shaniyah Buford signs with ICC basketball

The reigning 2017 EAGLE Player of the Year finally found a home to continue her career. Lafayette High’s Shaniyah Buford committed to Itawamba Community College on Tuesday morning.

Buford had other schools to choose from, including Middle Tennessee State, Delta State, East Mississippi Community College and Northwest Community College.

Itawamba was in on Buford from the very beginning, but Lafayette’s run to the Class 4A girls basketball championship in March helped open and expand the eyes on Buford, allowing her to have more options and take a little more time in her decision.

“This is how she wanted to do it, as far as waiting for the season to be done,” Lafayette head coach Shayne Linzy said. “I think she was probably a little shocked it would take this long for the end to come, but I told her in the beginning, ‘Make the right decision, but let’s not take too long.’”

Buford was the Commodores’ key cog on offense, averaging 18.8 points per game along with three assists a game. Defensively she pulled down 2.8 rebounds along with 2.2 steals a game. It was Buford’s play that helped end a 20-year plus drought in between Lafayette’s last girls basketball championship and this season. While four-year schools were knocking on her door, Buford felt Itawamba was the place she needed to play for two years before finishing her career elsewhere.

“I felt like it would be close to home and also they have a great program,” Buford said. “I feel like they’re going to push me in the classroom and on the court. … I felt like it’s the best fit for me to go there to get to the next level.”

Buford does not have a major picked out and will just work on her core classes during her time at Itawamba.