Faris makes grade on and off the court

By Carl Adamec

STORRS, Conn. — Kelly Faris always gets an A for effort and mostly A’s in the classroom. But it was a B in a Geography class last fall that kept her from a perfect 4.0 grade point average for a second straight semester.

“Well, I suck at geography. I have no sense of direction,” Faris said Tuesday night. “I’m just terrible. I was really mad I got a B. The course was really hard, OK. So that ruined my 4.0.”

Faris, a Sports Promotion and Individualized Development major, was among 19 UConn student-athletes honored Tuesday night at halftime of the Huskies’ game with Marquette at Gampel Pavilion for earning a 4.0 GPA in either the 2012 spring or fall semesters. It was a big night for the senior guard, who also had 11 points, seven rebounds, four assists, and five steals as No. 3 UConn routed the Golden Eagles 94-37 in Big East action.

“A 4.0 is always my goal and if I don’t get it I’m not happy,” Faris said. “It was nice to see that because I know all my studying paid off. I get annoyed with how much I study. If I’m not studying for something somehow I come up with something to study because that’s how my brain works, unfortunately.”

Four other Huskies — graduate student Caroline Doty, senior Heather Buck, junior Stefanie Dolson, and sophomore Kiah Stokes — were named to the athletic director’s honor roll for earning a 3.0 GPA in at least one of the 2012 semesters.

The 4.0 was the first of Faris’ college career.

“It’s no mystery to why Kelly had a 4.0,” UConn coach Geno Auriemma said. “One, she is very bright. Two, she’s very prideful. She takes tremendous pride in everything that she does. Three, she wanted to get a 4.0 so she got one.

“We talked about that after the game in the locker room with the other players. Once you put a number on something it holds you more accountable. And Kelly likes being held accountable. More kids could probably do better than they are doing now academically if they put a number on it, then work their butt off to get it.”

Faris got the 4.0 while helping UConn advance to the 2012 Final Four. On consecutive weekends, the Huskies were on the road to Bridgeport, Kingston, R.I., and Denver.

“Basketball is a hard sport academically because it encompasses both semesters,” Auriemma said. “The back end of the spring is a pain because if you’re in the NCAA Tournament you’re traveling a lot. What Kelly does better than most people is she puts everything in its own little compartment and then works it all the time. She’s able to do that and a lot of kids aren’t able to. It’s a credit to her mom and dad, and to her.”

Back on the court, Faris is now within 54 points of joining the 1,000-point club. Her four assists moved her into a tie with Tiffany Hayes for ninth on the Huskies’ all-time list with 483.