JR Payne sends strong message on Colorado football HC Deion Sanders' effect on CU

Colorado v Iowa
Colorado v Iowa / Sarah Stier/GettyImages

Colorado Buffaloes women's basketball head coach JR Payne was highly complimentary of Deion Sanders -- who since taking over the Colorado football program in December 2022, has brought an extra spotlight to all of CU's athletics.

“The great thing about (Coach) Prime, besides all of the greatness that Prime brings with him, is that now the entire world is seeing what an incredible place the University of Colorado is," Payne said (h/t The Denver Post). “So, yeah, we love what we have here. We love what we’re going to continue to be able to build with our leadership. And we’ll certainly miss Chancellor Phil (DiStefano), but love the support that we have from (CU) President (Todd) Saliman. And, yeah, I just think the sky’s the limit.”

Payne's Buffs were knocked off by Caitlin Clark -- who went for 29 points, 15 assists, and six rebounds in 37 minutes of floor-time -- and the Iowa Hawkeyes on March 30 in the Sweet 16 at the MVP Arena in Albany, New York. Coach Prime's youngest daughter, Shelomi Sanders, didn't see the floor.

Still, Sanders was the ultimate teammate all season.

Colorado football HC Deion Sanders' youngest daughter Shelomi was the ultimate teammate for Buffs

As Essentially Sports's Jenifer Martin relays, "Bossy" Sanders was dedicated to the Buffs all season despite playing in five games and averaging under two minutes per game in her first campaign at Colorado.

"Shelomi Sanders’ 'right time' with the Colorado Buffaloes is yet to come, but that hasn’t taken away from her dedication to doing her best for the team," Martin prefaced before saying, "Despite not extensively participating in the historic win, she remains a valued and loved member of the Buffs. At the end of the day, basketball is all about having that chemistry with your team."

Payne's Buffs had superstar guests like Coach Prime and CU starting quarterback Shedeur Sanders in the stands because of Shelomi. Never before have the Buffs had more notoriety.

It's only fitting their season ended at the hands of Clark's Iowa squad. Because there may not be a more notable women's college basketball player for a long time.