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Hopkins High School Basketball Coach, Player Celebrate Paige Bueckers Success

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Minnesota native Paige Bueckers makes her first Final Four appearance in the NCAA tournament Friday night, Marielle Mohs reports (1:58) WCCO 4 News At 5 - April 2, 2021

Video Transcript

- Tonight, Minnesota native, Paige Bueckers, makes her first Final Four appearance on the NCAA tournament.

- Earlier this week, she made history as the first freshman to be named the Associated Press Player of the Year. WCCO's Marielle Mohs spoke to those here at home, who have been along for her successful ride.

- I definitely, like, learned a lot from her, just like watching-- just from watching her.

MARIELLE MOHS: Amaya Battle replaced the whole Paige Bueckers left behind at Hopkins High School. Battle is a point guard, just like Bueckers. As her friend and former teammate, Battle emulates Bueckers playmaking leadership.

AMAYA BATTLE: Just how she, like, doesn't give up and always plays hard, I think, really is something that I want to take away.

MARIELLE MOHS: On Wednesday, Bueckers made history as the first freshman to win the Associated Press Player of the Year.

AMAYA BATTLE: For us, like our team and our community, like, we're really happy for her and really proud.

PAIGE BUECKERS: None of this would be possible without you guys and Coach.

BRIAN COSGRIFF: Oh, couldn't happen to a better player and a better person.

MARIELLE MOHS: Brian Cosgriff is not surprised to see Bueckers humility and emotion, accepting this honor. He's been her coach, throughout her time as a Hopkins High School [? Royal. ?]

BRIAN COSGRIFF: To sit there and watch her receive this award, and I think, how lucky was I to be able to coach this young lady for so long?

MARIELLE MOHS: Another UConn great, Maya Moore, also won the AP player of the Year Award. But she was a sophomore at the time. Many fans of Bueckers hopes she follows in Moore's footsteps and ends up right here at Target Center, playing for the Lynx.

BRIAN COSGRIFF: I just get emotional, even thinking about if that happened. It would be so cool for the state of Minnesota.

MARIELLE MOHS: Coach Cosgriff credits Bueckers for doing so much more than winning.

BRIAN COSGRIFF: People are talking about women's basketball. They're watching these games. They're going, this is really fun to watch. And Paige has been a big piece of that.

PAIGE BUECKERS: Just thank you.

MARIELLE MOHS: Marielle Mohs, WCCO 4 News.

- Bueckers and the Huskies take on the Arizona Wildcats in the Final Four tonight at 8:30.