BUFFS

Deion’s daughter Shelomi Sanders hits the portal, could leave CU

Apr 2, 2024, 8:34 PM

Shelomi Sanders...

Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images

Being a part of JR Payne’s bench mob as the Colorado Buffaloes roamed to a Sweet 16 for a second straight season wasn’t good enough for walk-on Shelomi Sanders, who is entering the transfer portal according to BuffZone.

Sanders, the daughter of the Buffs football coach Deion Sanders, is a redshirt freshman who came to Colorado shortly after her father. The 5-6 guard from Rockwall, Texas, left Jackson State for Boulder in January of 2023. She only played 11 minutes over five games this season, scoring three points, snagging three rebounds and getting a steal.

Buffs sophomore Brianna McLeod and freshman Mikayla Johnson also entered the portal on Tuesday as Payne had a pivotal offseason ahead of her. The eight-year head coach of the women has taken the Buffs to three-straight NCAA Tournaments and has advanced to the Sweet 16, losing to Iowa in the last two. Payne is losing starters Quay Miller, Maddie Nolan and Jaylyn Sherrod as well as big-time role player Charlotte Whittaker.

While all those names leaving have been bigger contributors on the court, Sanders hitting the portal will raise more eyebrows. For one, her dad has built pretty much the entire football team in Boulder from transfers—which has bugged more than a few people. Coach Prime though has been unabashed about the way he puts a roster together. And again ahead of year two Colorado’s portal adds have been more than threefold what they got from regular recruiting. Prime is looking to build off a 4-8 season and set up the team to succeed around his sons Shedeur and Shilo Sanders. Secondarily, could Shelomi’s move hint at the end being near for Deion?

Sanders has made a very big deal about his entire family being in Boulder. Talking about cousins, aunts and more. Now that one of his collegiate sport-playing athletes is leaving Colorado, could Deion soon follow? The contract Sanders signed at the tail-end of 2022 was for five years at $29.5 million. Sanders would owe the school $10 million if he left before this fall or during the season. That number goes down to $8 million in the third year and $5 million if he leaves after that.

But Sanders health hasn’t been tip-top the past few years which is one of the reasons he picked Boulder in the first place. Could retirement be near? Moreover, will he leave Boulder like his sons Shedeur and Shilo Sanders are expected to after this football season? Shedeur and teammate Travis Hunter are both likely top-five picks in the 2025 NFL Draft, and if the family was planning to leave together it would make sense that Shelomi would leave now instead of sticking out another basketball season where her family wouldn’t be around for the majority of it.

For all the sleuthing Buffs fans out there, eyes will be on where Shelomi Sanders ends up.

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