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Support from head coach Payne gives freshman Wetta freedom to roam with Buffaloes

Kindyll Wetta.jpg
Posted at 8:21 AM, Feb 21, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-21 10:21:28-05

Kindyll Wetta is having an historic freshman season at the University of Colorado Boulder.

In a game against Arizona State, she set the school record for steals in a quarter. She’s also the NCAA’s top freshman in assist-to-turnover ratio.

But her breakout campaign could have been stopped before it ever began if not for the support of Buffaloes head coach JR Payne

“There are very few players that come to college ready for this,” Payne said. “[Wetta] actually came prepared.”

Wetta was a phenom in high school. She was Colorado’s 5A player of the year as a senior, leading Valor Christian to an undefeated season and state title, all after tearing both of her ACL’s.

Two years ago, we talked to Wetta about her climb back from injury and the support she felt from her future coach.

“Some of the other colleges would say ‘we’re unsure,’ and I just really appreciated that about them,” said Wetta of CU back in 2020.

When asked if her ACL injuries were worrisome, Payne said not at all.

“If you play basketball long enough as a female, you’re probably going to tear your ACL, if not both eventually,” Payne said. “The difference, I think, is that she’s tougher than most.”

“[Payne] said at the beginning of the season that [she wanted] someone who is reliable and steady,” Wetta said. “That’s a role that I’ve tried to embrace.”

Playing without pain or fear means Wetta, a rising star for the Buffaloes, is free to roam.

“She knows what it takes to persevere through adversity, something that is pretty rare these days in a young person, and she just has the whole package,” Payne said.

“I’m just very thankful I’ve been through that part of my life,” Wetta said. “It was unbelievable for a little while, but I’m settling in and I’m good now.”