Born in Huntsville in 1954, Buford became an accomplished star in both baseball and basketball at New Hope High School. He later earned degrees at Snead State Junior College, Athens State and Alabama A&M University. A former teacher and coach at DAR High School and later at principal at Douglas, Buford is now the elementary principal at DAR School in Grant. Buford averaged 20.5 points and 10 rebounds for the 1972 New Hope basketball team, which finished 22-4. He was named to the Madison County all-tournament team and to the Guntersville Christmas Tournament all-tournament team in 1972. He was also named to the all-county team by both the Huntsville News and The Huntsville Times, and was named a second team all-state in 197 1-73. A pitcher for the Indians baseball team, he played for the West team in the 1972 East-West All-Star Game. Buford signed a basketball scholarship at Snead and later a baseball scholarship at David Lipscomb College in Nashville. Signed as a pitcher by the Atlanta Braves, he pitched in the Braves organization until 1977 and later played basketball at Athens State.