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Third grader taking Arizona's basketball world by storm

Meet the 8-year-old girl turning heads on Phoenix courts.

PHOENIX — Arizona has produced a number of talented basketball players and we’ve seen young athletes featured on 12News make it to the big stage. 

One player to keep an eye on is part of the class of 2032 and while Delilah Buhr is only 8 years old, her basketball skills are already impressive.

“I started [playing basketball] about three years ago on a rec team and I was not that good, like terrible,” Delilah said. “But I wanted to get better, so I asked dad to go to practice earlier and stay later.”

Delilah’s dad, Brian, says he matches his daughter’s effort and energy to get better at basketball. She’s already set long-term and short-term goals that she’s working hard to achieve.

“She’s the most determined little thing I've ever seen. A lot of people just assume it's a dad trying to produce the next Diana Taurasi or the next Candace Parker,” Brian said. “I have to pull her back sometimes because she is so driven.”

Delilah is a confident kid with aspirations to play at the pro level after earning a scholarship to play in college. You can see her determination on full display on her Instagram page and at gyms all over the Valley. 

Earlier this year she got to practice with the Arizona State women’s basketball team at Weatherup Center in Tempe, but she spends a lot of her time at The Basketball Garage with her trainer Tony Miller. Miller ranks among the NCAA’s top 10 all-time assist leaders from his time at Marquette and he says Delilah’s grasp on the game is beyond her years.

“She has a very good IQ for basketball at a young age which is very surprising to me,” Miller said. “To be able to understand it mentally for her age is crazy so that's the excitement for me. It's fun because I'm able to challenge her. She knows a lot more and she's more locked into it than even some high school kids.”

Brian Buhr knows his little girl is tough as nails. In fact, she once decided to go through nine hours of practice and when dad tried to stop her, she wasn't having it.

“She puts up her hand she goes ‘will you just let me be great?’ And I said, ‘excuse me!?’ and she goes ‘let a girl be great’ and turned around and walked away and went to practice,” Brian said. 

“She's fierce and she doesn't care. She goes against boys. Sometimes she'll practice with the fifth-grade boys -- not because she's anywhere close to being that good. But she doesn't care. The fear I have as a dad is I have to be careful because she will try to take a charge on someone four times the size of her!”

Let A Girl Be Great: five powerful words from a third grader.

Follow the conversation with Lina Washington on Twitter: @LWashingtonTV. If you have a sports story idea, e-mail Lina at LWashington@12News.com.


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