Faris And Ralph Comment On Faris And The WNBA

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UConn senior Kelly Faris was chosen the first round of the WNBA draft by the Connecticut Sun tonight (11th overall).

Here are some further comments …

Kelly Faris

On when she thought she would some day play in the WNBA …
“Obviously when you’re little there’s those thoughts that always go through your mind,’’ Faris said. “And when I was really little I was like, `Oh, I’ll be in the NBA.’ Well, that quickly went out the window. But I grew up in Indiana and basketball is everything. That’s all I’ve ever known. So that’s what I wanted to do. I’ve wanted to do that for the rest of my life as long as I could. When did it really, truly start kind of sinking in? Probably the last couple years.

“I didn’t know if I would be able to get to that caliber and to get to that level of play. I knew I was going to work really hard at it. But I didn’t want to get my hopes up for something that I wasn’t sure if I would be able to get.’’

On staying in Connecticut …
“Why not stay here and be with the family that I’ve really created here,’’ Faris said. “This is my family away from home. There’s so much passion for the game and for the women’s game, which is great. I’m just so excited to have this opportunity to continue my game at the next level.’’

On being nervous waiting for her name to be called …
“This is probably the most nervous I’ve ever been because I didn’t know,’’ Faris said. “I had absolutely no clue. I’m somebody who needs a plan. I like to know what I’m doing. And I didn’t. So the whole time I’m sitting there, `Well, maybe it could be my name. Maybe I couldn’t be.’ And you just kind of have to wait. It’s the waiting game. So finally they called my name. So that was a relief once they did.’’

On the reaction of her parents once she was selected …
“Just happy for me,’’ Faris said. “They were smiling and proud of me. I know they’re proud of me and I’m sure they’re happy that I get to stay close to my family here and I know they’ll be out to some games.’’

On what this past week has been like for her …
“Oh, my gosh. I couldn’t even tell you,’’ Faris said. “I was sitting there this weekend trying to go to bed and I was like, `Wait, what happened to our national championship?’ It kind of got tossed to the side for a minute. So after this I’m just going to kind of relax, go back, catch up on my schoolwork and just kind of soak it all in. Go back to my teammates now and just thank them for everything and being able to get that national championship and then get ready for what’s in store.’’

UConn assistant coach Shea Ralph

On seeing Faris drafted …
“I’m just really happy for Kelly,’’ Ralph said. “She loves to play basketball. She’s just a student of the game. She’s so smart. She’s got a great IQ and you can tell she just wants to keep getting better every day. So to see that happen for her in such a dramatic way over her four years it just means a lot for us to be able to be here and witness her getting into the WNBA.’’

On whether or not she thought Faris would be a pro some day …
“When I first saw her in high school I knew that she was going to be really good, but I didn’t know she was going to turn out to be the way that she did here and mean as much as she did to our program,’’ Ralph said. “You could tell she had all the intangible things, and usually those players turn out to be the backbone of your program. But sometimes they don’t turn into good pros. I think Kelly’s developed herself into the type of player … Her shooting has gotten exponentionally better. She can score. She can defend. She’s a great athlete. She works harder than anybody else on the court. And I think there’s a place for somebody like that on every team.’’

On Faris teaming with Kalana Greene …
“I’d actually be afraid to play them both on the same team because they do so much similar,’’ Ralph said. “Kalana’s 3-point shooting has gotten a lot better too. And so has Kelly’s. But as far as slashing to the basket … Kalana earlier was maybe better at that and more athletic in a way. Kelly is just more creative in the way that she does it with her passing and cutting and that kind of thing. So they have the same affect, but maybe they just do it differently a little bit. I’m interested to see how the other team is going to score with defensive players like those two on the perimeter. So it’s just going to be great for Kelly to be surrounded by so many former UConn people. I know she’s going to, and obviously you want them to develop and do different things, but for her to have that support system around her makes us feel really good.’’

Rich

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