- Associated Press - Tuesday, March 27, 2018

NEW HOPE, Minn. (AP) - A crowdfunding campaign is helping a Twin Cities area high school basketball team acquire lasting reminders of its state championship.

Cooper High School football coach Willie Howard started a GoFundMe campaign in hopes of buying championship rings for the girls’ basketball team to commemorate the win earlier this month, KARE-TV reported .

The girls initially thought they’d receive the rings for free after being given a catalog of ring options to choose from. They were upset to learn the rings cost $300 each, because many couldn’t afford the price tag, said senior T.T. Longs.

But the community quickly rallied around the group. The campaign passed its goal of $5,000 on Tuesday, with more than 100 people donating.

“That’s so generous, we love our community for that,” said freshman Jayla Reliford.

Coach Kiara Buford said she knows how meaningful the rings can be to players. Buford helped win two state championships as a player at St. Paul Central, and regrets not getting a ring either time.

“I’m never taking it off when we get it,” said freshman Andrea Tribble. “It’s not coming off my finger.”

The funds will also be used to help pay for an end-of-season banquet.

___

Information from: KARE-TV, http://www.kare11.com


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