I’d like to start this one off a little differently, first thanking those who deserve thanks. First and foremost, thank you to the athletes who have taken time to answer less-than pertinent questions so that we can enjoy them. Second, thank you to the Athletic Communications department for the help with access to these players, and third, thank you to all of my sources who helped out with personalized questions for each of the athletes. Without those, Off Topic would be nothing more than a random survey.
I want to thank the Daily for awarding Off Topic the "Best Blog posts" this year, and for giving me a forum to share thoughts from the athletes with you. Hopefully this experience for you was as fun as it was for me. Now since volleyball’s season is over, there will be no more media days and no more volleyball interviews. But basketball is still going strong, and here is my final Off Topic for the Minnesota Daily, as my tenure here is nearing completion.
Name: Kiara Buford
Sport: Women’s basketball
Full Bio: Gophersports
Mark Heise: Kiara, to start things off, Brittany McCoy was the person who selected you for this week, and she actually contacted me mid-week to change the question she would like to ask you. So her new question is, if you could have any super-human powers, what would they be?
Kiara Buford: Um, probably to fly. That way I could get places faster.
MH: That makes sense, especially in the winter, get to classes a little faster.
MH: Have you ever been in a play?
KB: In junior high, yeah. I don’t remember what it was called though. And I used to do "Destination Imagination," where we’d make up our own plays.
MH: Explain that.
KB: In elementary school we did "Destination Imagination," it was like an extra-curricular thing, and we basically did improv. I remember one time we had to do a play but we could only use cardboard or paper bags or something. And then in junior high I remember I was a genie in a play, but I don’t remember what it was.
MH: Alright. Moving on, the student ID card here needs a new name. What would you call it?
KB: What’s it called now?
MH: The Student ID.
KB: Um, let’s go with the VIP Access Card.
MH: That actually sounds good. Ok the good old Thunder/Lightning question, a few people have answered this, but we’ve had varying responses. So to tell how far away the lightning is, you’re supposed to count how long it takes, after you see the lightning, to hear the thunder…
MH: It gets closer together the closer it gets, so the question is, if you were to be struck by lightning, would you hear the thunder at the same time?
KB: (laughs) You probably wouldn’t hear the thunder at all. Wouldn’t you think you’d get struck and the thunder would be right after it? I think, ok you get struck, but when you’re getting electrocuted you wouldn’t be able to hear the thunder. That’s my theory.
MH: That’s fair…
KB: If you get struck by lightning I don’t think you’re going to be listening for the thunder.
MH: Alright. New question: is a Capri Sun a juice box?
KB: Yeah… well a juice bag, but I’d call it a juice box.
MH: Ok… Travis Busch was very adamant that it was not, but some people thought otherwise. Most recent movie you’ve seen?
KB: Well I just bought Step Brothers on DVD so I watched that yesterday.
MH: Favorite scene in that movie?
KB: When they made the the bunk beds…
MH: "We’ll have so much more space…"
KB: (Laughs) it was so funny…
MH: Last time you had a chaparone?
KB: Probably our graduation, we had an overnight. Our school had all these activities and they had chaperones that do that and serve food and stuff.
MH: Oh yeah, that’s right after graduation, right?
KB: Yeah, that night.
MH: I remember doing that… Ok think of your group of friends. Every group has some kind of food mooch, someone that always comes and just eats all the food. Who is that in your group? Is it you?
KB: No, it’s not me… Just food-wise, that’s Tanisha (Smith) on our team… She loves the food.
MH: Does she take it off people’s plates?
KB: No, like, if we have food, she’s always the first one to the food and eating before everybody. I remember we were at Katie (Ohm)’s house and there was this big fruit bowl and she was eating all the pineapples. We were trying to get the food before she ate it all.
MH: Elementary gym class: they make you do a lot of weird stuff in there. What’s your strangest experience you remember?
KB: Does it have to be related to the activities?
KB: I remember, well we’d line up before gym, we had rows, and this kid peed on himself behind me. And I had to watch them clean it up because I was right there. That’s probably the strangest thing that happened to me in gym class.
KB: Yeah. they had to clean it up and then he had to go change. But just to watch somebody do that is just… oh, and another one. You remember those little square boards with the wheels on them?
KB: We used to have to sit on those and push, and I was always so tall so my legs were like…
MH: You could never really fit on them.
KB: Exactly! That was always awful, I hated doing that just because I was bigger.
MH: With your feet just dragging behind.
KB: Yup and then you’re losing because you can’t go very fast.
MH: I remember those. Ok, Christmas music. When is it OK to play Christmas music?
KB: I would say two weeks before Christmas, because I don’t think they should put up the lights and stuff before Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is first, then I’d give you a couple weeks to recover from that, and then get into Christmas. Probably now would be the right time to start.
MH: Well good, because I had some on this morning. When does it have to stop?
KB: When Christmas is over!
MH: so the 26th?
KB: Well, it depends, I’d say right before New Year’s.
MH: Ok, that’s probably the most common answer… another new question: you stock up on pens and pencils every year, right? where do they all go? you can’t use them all…
KB: I have no idea. I knew you were going to ask that question because that was the first thing I thought of. I have so many pens and pencils and I don’t know where they go. Maybe they fall out?
MH: Is it embarrassing to have to ask for something as basic as a pen or a pencil?
KB: I always ask for pens and pencils…
MH: Well yeah, everyone has to because they always lose them, but…
KB: I don’t know, I just want to figure out where they go.
MH: Ok. Do you still eat sugary cereal?
KB: Sugary cereal. Cereal’s one of my favorite foods, and I’ve always ate sugary cereals. We talked about this the other day, and people were like, "I never got to eat sugary cereal when I was a kid," and all I could think was "What?!" I lived off of sugary cereal, I love it.
MH: There were some kinds of cereal my parents wouldn’t let me have.
KB: I know! Man, that’s so sad. I eat every cereal.
MH: Favorite kinds?
KB: It’s hard, probably Lucky Charms?
MH: And I’m guessing you’ll eat it as a snack, not just breakfast?
KB: In high school, I ate it in the morning, when I came home from school AND a bowl after dinner. Like dessert.
MH: Ok. Here’s a question that I’ve been wondering about. You know those conversations that sometimes go way over your head, or maybe you just weren’t paying attention?
MH: How do you handle those conversations? Do you pretend you know what they’re talking about and go along with it, or do you stop and ask?
KB: I think it depends who it is. If it’s my friend, I’m going to be like, "what?" But if it’s someone I don’t know very well…
MH: Like someone you’ve never met before who just starts interviewing you…
KB: (laughs) yeah. Then if I was thinking "what is he talking about…" I probably wouldn’t tell you, just say "yep, mhmm…."
MH: That’s the line too, when you don’t know?
KB: No, I’ll just kind of shake my head and smile…
MH: Brittany and I talked about this. It’s cold out, and still some girls won’t wear hats because they don’t want to mess up their hair. In a state like Minnesota, does it make sense to try and be fashionable during the winter?
KB: I think I gave up trying to be fashionable in winter. In high school it’s a little different, but when you have to walk to your classes and walk to practice, I throw on my sweats, throw on my hoodie, and I’m ready to go.
MH: You gotta be warm…
KB: Yeah, I’ll take warm over anything.
MH: Ok. Do you have any fears?
KB: I’m afraid of spiders, and I’m afraid to break a bone or have surgery. Those are my biggest fears.
MH: You’ve never broken a bone?
KB: No. Or like get my teeth pulled, stuff like that. I’m scared to be put to sleep in general, I think. Anything that requires that, I don’t want to do.
MH: Is pulling teeth the only thing you’re scared of at the dentist?
KB: I don’t know, I think it is… My aunt’s my dentist, and I really don’t like it, but I think that’s the only thing I’m scared of… getting my wisdom teeth pulled. I never got mine, so I’m hoping they never come in.
MH: Wow. Luckily I’ve got a big mouth so mine fit in.
KB: You’re lucky.
MH: I know… Question of the year: Travis Busch and Zach Eisendrath have an online TV blog called The What Else? Show, where they sit down and do a talk show, discussing anything they really feel like talking about that day. If you had an online TV blog, what would it be and what would you call it?
KB: It would be called… I don’t know what I’d call it. Chat room or something. No, not chat room.
MH: What would it be about?
KB: I would probably talk about rumors and stuff, or stuff going on in the city… things you can relate to, and add opinions, maybe do polls and stuff.
MH: That sounds sort of like a cross between Kay Sylva’s and Zoe Harper’s. Kay did a Hot Topic type thing, and Zoe did a gossip thing…
KB: (laughs) figures.
MH: First guest you’d have?
KB: Whoever I’m living with at the time. No one in particular.
MH: You play on a raised floor at Williams. Have you fallen or been pushed off yet?
KB: Not yet, no…
MH: Looking forward to that first one?
KB: No, I’m definitely not… But I feel like I’d usually stop before the edge. I’ve come close, but I never fell off.
MH: Tying this back to basketball, you have a nice fan-base here at Williams, but you could always use more… What are some reasons for people to come watch you play?
KB: I think we’re a pretty good team… Our last seven games we’ve won by over 20 points, and yeah our fans are dedicated, but I feel like this atmosphere is just really fun. Come watch the success of the team, I think it should be a fun year.
MH: Ok. And I don’t know if I’m going to get a chance to do another one of these since it’s finals week, but if you were to nominate someone, who would it have been, and what question would you give them?
KB: Ashley Ellis-Milan, and I’d ask what her favorite song is to dance to before the game.
MH: Thanks Kiara, thank you readers, and as always, I welcome comments either down below or by email. As I am leaving the Daily, my email will soon be gone, but you can still reach me at [email protected] Again thanks, and it’s been a pleasure working for you.