Two NCAA Tournament appearances in the first two seasons of college basketball is special. Making those two appearances with the hometown team is even better.
Colorado sophomore point guard Kindyll Wetta graduated from Valor Christian High School in 2021 and came to a CU team that hadn’t been to The Dance in a while. On Saturday, she and the Buffaloes will make their second straight tourney appearance when they face Middle Tennessee in Durham, N.C. (5 p.m. MT, ESPNews).
“That’s why I chose to come to Colorado,” Wetta said. “I wanted to stay home and make an impact in my state and be a part of something like this. It really couldn’t have gone better.”
Wetta verbally committed to CU in the summer of 2019 after her sophomore year at Valor and after a 12-18 season by the Buffs. It was the fourth losing season in five years for CU.
The next season, 2019-20, the Buffs went 16-14 and were expecting a WNIT bid before the COVID-19 pandemic shut down the postseason. When Wetta was a high school senior in 2021, the Buffs went 12-11 and reached the WNIT quarterfinals.
Wetta has been a key part of CU taking the next step over the past two years.
“When I committed here my sophomore year, I couldn’t have imagined anything better than getting to go two times in a row. So yeah, it’s amazing,” she said. “I feel like my freshman year, everything just kind of really fell into place and that’s why we were the kind of team we were. And, obviously it carried over into this year.
“I don’t know that I really had an expectation that we were going into the NCAA tournament (both years), but that’s ultimately why I chose to come here is because I wanted to be a part of a program that was up and coming.”
Over the years, Wetta has watched several other top players from Colorado go elsewhere, including around the Pac-12. Conference powerhouse Stanford currently has three former Colorado stars and Oregon State’s Raegan Beers, the Pac-12 freshman of the year and sixth player of the year, was a high school teammate of Wetta.
Wetta is hoping CU’s rise will lead to more of the state’s top players to consider the Buffs.
“People that were a grade above me and my grade literally all went to Stanford, or elsewhere,” she said. “Now, that this is the program that it is (growing), you’re kind of starting to see a little bit of shift in upcoming recruits and where their minds are at and so I think that’s awesome.”