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Basketball player Brian Stafford is one to watch

Brian Stafford is the top returning scorer for the Pioneers basketball team. Photo: Wayne Armstrong

Athletics are a family affair for sophomore finance major Brian Stafford. His father played football and his mother ran track and field at the University of California-Berkeley, and his grandfather helped the school win an NCAA title in basketball. His older brother currently plays basketball at Azusa Pacific University.

With influences like these, it’s no wonder Stafford has been playing sports since age 5 and is now the top returning scorer for the Pioneers basketball team.

Stafford came to DU from the San Francisco Bay area. After University of Denver coaches watched him play in an Amateur Athletics Union tournament, they recruited him for the Pioneers basketball team.

“I fell in love with the DU campus and area after I had already made my decision to come here,” Stafford says. “And I thought the coaches and team were great.”

Since he began his basketball career at DU, Stafford’s defensive skills have improved immensely. He practices up to three hours a day.

The demands of practice and high-pressure games have yielded impressive results for Stafford. During the 2008–09 season, he was named the Pioneers’ most valuable freshman and led the team in scoring five times, steals 10 times, blocks twice, rebounding once and assists once. In the 2009–10 season, Stafford was among the top 10 three-point shooters in the Sun Belt Conference.

“Brian has started every game since he’s been at DU,” says men’s basketball coach Joe Scott. “His experience and even-keeled demeanor will help him improve through his junior and senior years.”

Though much of his life is dedicated to sports, Stafford still manages to maintain a 3.81 GPA. He takes summer classes to lighten his workload during basketball season. Off the court, he enjoys fly-fishing, the outdoors and classical piano.

“I’ll probably play piano for the rest of my life. It helps me relax,” he says.

Stafford is unsure what he will pursue after graduation in 2012, but he says he wants to stay involved with basketball.


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