Chase Buford, a 6-foot-3 senior guard from Alamo Heights High School in the San Antonio area, will play basketball at Kansas University next season as a preferred walk-on.
Buford, the son of former KU assistant and current San Antonio Spurs general manager R.C. Buford, did not play this past high school season because of complications from an enlarged spleen.
During his junior year, he averaged 9.2 points and 2.7 assists while playing shooting guard and point guard for 20-12 Alamo Heights.
Buford received some recruiting interest from Virginia after playing for the Spurs AAU team after his junior season. He also had similar walk-on opportunites at Florida and Texas.
"I'm really excited. It's a pretty neat opportunity," Chase Buford said today. "My mom (Beth Boozer) went to school there. My dad coached there in '88 (national title season). It seems half our family went there. It's in my blood, I guess."
His high school coach, Charlie Boggess, said Buford came on strong late in his junor year, averaging about 16 points his last 12 games.
"He has a nice stroke and likes to go to the rim. He's a tough kid with quick hands, not afraid to take charges," Boggess said. "He's a blue collar player with a great knowledge of the game. He has a knack for the game. I would bet he'd follow in his pop's footsteps," he added of R.C., regarded one of the top GM's in the NBA who coached at KU under Larry Brown and is a close friend of KU coach Bill Self.
"I think he'll be a good addition to Kansas' team," Boggess added. "Put him around really good athletes and he could take another step in the right direction. He'll be a good guy to have around. He'll work hard. He may surprise some people, get in games and do some good things especially toward the end of his career."
Boggess said because of injury there was simply no way to get Buford on the court for his senior season.
The enlarged spleen was the culprit. He's since been cleared to play.
"Every time he'd get it scanned it was it was, 'Nope,''' Boggess said of doctors' recommendation to not take the court. "After the spleen is enlarged, if it's down significantly you can pad it. His didn't go down. At the same time his immune system weakened and he was sick. He's OK now and ready to play."
R.C. Buford is thrilled for his son.
"I'm excited about him coming up there," R.C. Buford said. "It's a unique opportunity to play at Kansas and a special opportunity. I'm thrilled for Chase. He will get to experience some great moments as I did. I'm happy he found a place he feels is right for him."
KU has four walk-ons on the roster next season, including Matt Kleinmann, Conner Teahan and Brennan Bechard. Junior-to-be Brad Witherspoon is a fifth walk-on who is not yet assured a spot on the 2007-08 team.
For more on this story, read tomorrow's Journal-World and log onto KUSports.com.