Junior led MND to 72-consecutive wins, two state titles
By Tim Streid
COLUMBUS – Cincinnati Mount Notre Dame High School junior KK Bransford was announced as Ohio’s Ms. Basketball March 31 by a statewide media panel.
Now in its 34th year, the prestigious award was first given by the Associated Press in 1988. It has been voted by the Ohio Prep Sportswriters Association since 2017.
This past season, Bransford led the Cincinnati Girls Greater Catholic League in scoring (21.4), assists (5.1), field goal percentage (51.5) and steals (three per game), and she was third in the league in rebounding (6.4). The 5-foot-10 all-purpose has now played in an incredible 72 consecutive winning basketball games for Mount Notre Dame, which includes two state championships. Had it not been for the coronavirus pandemic cancellation of the 2020 state tournament, it may have been three state titles as MND was also 28-0 a year ago.
In the 2021 state tournament, Bransford nearly delivered back-to-back triple-doubles. In the semifinal against Toledo Notre Dame Academy she had 24 points, nine rebounds and seven assists. She followed that up with 21 points 10 assists and eight boards against Newark in the championship game. To make her accolades even more notable, Bransford has played three seasons alongside Laila Phelia, a Michigan signee and McDonald’s All-American nominee.
“She makes so many people around her better, not just on the court, but off the court,” said MND coach Dr. Scott Rogers. “Her basketball IQ is so high. She understands that if you want the big prize, you have to sacrifice some scoring. All that’s done is cause her game to evolve. She had 10 assists in the state final.”
“I’m super happy, super blessed, super surprised,” Bransford said of the honor. “I always say Ohio has the best talent in girls’ basketball in the country. To be considered Ms. Basketball is amazing to me.”
Her high game this year was 31, but as a sophomore, she once scored 40 against Gahanna Lincoln. As a freshman, she made her debut with 29 points against Columbus Africentric.
Bransford becomes the first Greater Cincinnati recipient of Ms. Basketball since 2014 when Kelsey Mitchell (Princeton, Ohio State, WNBA) was chosen. She’s the third Mount Notre Dame winner joining 2009’s Kendall Hackney (Northwestern) and 2004’s Mel Thomas (Connecticut).