BOULDER, Colo. (AP) — When Deion Sanders arrived in Boulder to resurrect Colorado's slumbering football program he not only brought his sons Sheduer, a star quarterback, and Shilo, a star safety, but also his youngest child, Shelomi, a redshirt freshman point guard on the women's basketball team.
Shelomi goes by the nickname “Bossy,” a nod to the piloting personality she developed while growing up in a household full of ultra-competitive athletes and a famous father.
“Bossy?” women's hoops coach J.R. Payne asked. "Well, she hasn't been really bossy with us. But Shelomi is doing great. Shelomi came in the middle of the year last year, which is always difficult to transfer from one program to another. And the team loved her immediately. She's got a great personality. She works hard. She brings life to the party on a daily basis, so to speak.”
So, she's got some of her father's charisma.
“I just give out energy and you know, I’m always gonna smile, always gonna bring good vibes, always gonna laugh,” Bossy said. “That's just me being me.”
When Deion Sanders was asked about his youngest daughter at his weekly news conference followering a tough loss at Oregon, his eyes lit up.
“You've got to understand, my baby girl is my heart,” Coach Prime said. “I love all my kids, but I love them differently. Bossy is my baby girl. She's my heart. She has a witness protection program with her brothers. She don't ever date, she probably won't get married until she's about 40. They don't play.”
Sanders said he told Payne he would be happy to help recruit if his name might help and then gushed some more about his daughter — “just seeing her want it and go out there and work and put up 100 shots after practice on her own” — before pausing to note his unusual and beloved situation with his children on hand at Colorado with him.
“Even though we got an L, I don't consider it a loss when I get to watch my sons not only play on the field but I get to watch my son (Deion Sanders Jr.) film everything and edit it and put it out ... and I get to see my daughter come into my office and take a nap on the couch,” he said. "So I'm living a wonderful double life as a father and a coach and I love every minute of it.”
Sanders also asked what time the women's basetball team — which is ranked 20th and opens against national champion and top-ranked LSU in Las Vegas next month — practiced and said he was going to have to drop by.
Bossy asked him not to.
“I told him to just come to the games and sit with the other parents,” she said. “I don't want him coming to practice. I don't want to say I don't like the spotlight but I just want to be, like, in a sense, normal."
She knows that is an impossibility on a campus that has drawn a Hollywood-like scrutiny thanks to her family's arrival last winter from Jackson State, an HBCU in Mississippi.
“We were always in the spotlight as kids, so there's not much of a difference,” Bossy said. “But there is, as well, just for the fact that we're at a Power Five and we're on the big stage. Everyone's looking at Colorado, at my brothers and my dad and what he's going to shape this program to be. So, I don't really have the words for it. It's just a really cool experience watching it all happen in front of my eyes just turning things around.
“I mean, it was kind of the same at Jackson and how we turned around the program, but it's on a bigger platform now.”
Deion Sanders' oldest daughter, Deiondra, is 31 and lives in Atlanta. Deion Jr., a.k.a “Bucky,” who played football at SMU and who runs the “Well Off Forever” brand on Instagram and YouTube, which often promotes the Buffaloes, is 29.
Bossy, who's 19, grew up competing mostly with Shilo, 23, and Shedeur, 21.
“We all kind of played the same sports,” Bossy said. "I like to say I was the best athlete of the family. I was. I played a little football back in the day. They played basketball, too. I feel like it made me tougher competing with them. It was always competition in the house. It started from who could pray the best.”
That's not a typo. She said pray, not play.
On the way to school, she explained, one of the siblings would lead the family prayer. So, they'd look out the window and thank God for the blue sky and the green grass and for that puppy on a walk over there.
When Bossy was finished, she'd turn to her brothers and issue the challenge, “Beat that!” And the next day Shilo or Shedeur would try to do just that.
“It was just a competition with us in everything," Bossy said. “Yeah, even in prayer. I'm surprised my dad hasn't told that story yet.”
Get poll alerts and updates on the AP Top 25 Basketball Polls throughout the season. Sign up here
AP women’s college basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-womens-college-basketball-poll and https://apnews.com/hub/womens-college-basketball