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A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Kelly Faris thrilled to stay "home"

                                                  (Associated Press photo)
Kelly Faris poses for photo with WNBA President
Laurel Richie after being taken in first round by
Connecticut Sun in Monday's WNBA draft.
There have been UConn players who privately longed to head out of the Nutmeg State for the start of their WNBA career. However, Kelly Faris, is not in that category.

Faris was beaming with joy after the Connecticut Sun selected the former Husky with the 11th pick in the first round of Monday's WNBA draft.

“I wasn't ready to leave Connecticut yet,” Faris said. “I can't explain what it feels like. It is like a dream come true“This is probably the most nervous I have ever been because I didn't know and I had absolutely no clue. I am somebody who needs a plan, I like to know what I am doing and I didn't. The whole time I didn't (know), maybe it could be my name, maybe it couldn't and I had to wait, it was the hold waiting game finally they called my name and it was a relief.”

Faris is heading to a team seemingly pretty stocked with perimeter players with Kara Lawson, Montgomery, Kalana Greene, Allison Hightower and Tan White. Former Cheshire Academy star Johannah Leedham, who was the leading scorer in the 2012 Olympics while playing for Great Britain, is coming into training camp and the Sun also signed Natasha Lacy.There was some pre-draft chatter that the Sun wouldn’t need a player like Faris since she has a similar skill set to Greene.

Even with Asjha Jones sitting out the season, Faris is one of five UConn products on the Sun roster with Jessica Moore joining reigning MVP Tina Charles, Renee Montgomery and Greene.

Faris is especially thrilled to be reunited with Charles and Greene, who she played with on UConn's 2009-10 national championship team.

“There are always memories in this (UConn) program,” Faris said. “You see them here and there trying to get up there when I was here for summer school, I wanted to be with people who had the same process of going to UConn, I wanted to have them as teammates because we had that common bond, we had that same mindset.

“It is so good for me to feel like all that hard work paid off. It means the world to me that they are going to trust me, put their faith in me just like Coach (Geno Auriemma) did four years ago.”
Faris finished tied for second on UConn’s career list with 154 games played, was fifth in minutes played (4,258) and steals (294) and sixth in assists (545). She also scored 1,109 points and had 821 rebounds helping UConn to four straight Final Four appearances and a [pair of national titles.

Faris is the 25th Husky taken in the draft and the run of first rounders began in 2001 when Svetlana Abrosimova and Kelly Schumacher were taken seventh and 14th overall. The following year Sue Bird became the first UConn product to go No. 1 overall and the Huskies made history by having four of the top six picks in the draft. Diana Taurasi (2004), Tina Charles (2010) and Maya Moore (2011) were also No. 1 overall selections.

Former Baylor star Brittney Griner was taken with the first pick by Phoenix. Elena Delle Donne went second to Chicago followed by Tulsa selecting Skylar Diggins with the third pick.

The Sun took Iowa State’s Anna Prins in the second round and South Florida’s Andrea Smith was taken in the third round.



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