Kelly Faris didn’t care if she was drafted by the hometown Indiana Fever or the Connecticut Sun, her adopted home.
But she sure is happy to be staying in Connecticut.
“To be honest, I am so excited to be coming back to Connecticut,” Faris said. “I wasn’t really ready to leave anyway. I’ve built a strong foundation here with so much support. I couldn’t be happier to stay here.”
Sun GM Chris Sienko, who has been charting Faris for many years, is thrilled to get her.
“Being fortunate enough to watch her over the last four years, knowing what she can contribute, she will be a great asset to the team,” Sienko said.
“I’m looking forward to playing with Kelly Faris,” Sun guard Kara Lawson tweeted after the pick was announced.
Faris’ assist-turnover ratio, which led the nation for a great part of the season, was stellar (156 assists, 74 turnovers) and see led UConn with 96 assists.
Still, despite all this, Faris is not considered a sure-fire WNBA starter because she hasn’t been able to score easily or abundantly.
But the Sun have high expectations for her. She joins a team with three other former UConn players with the Sun – Renee Montgomery, Tina Charles and Kalana Greene.
Faris played her freshman season with Charles and Greene on UConn’s undefeated 2009-10 national championship team.
“That will be an amazing experience for me,” Faris said. “It’s a great opportunity to be back with UConn players. I was hoping that would be the case. We have a common bond and mindset.”
Faris said she was very nervous as the draft proceed through the first round. There was some thought the Indiana Fever might take her with the ninth pick and bring her home (Faris is from Plainfield, Ind.). But the Fever passed in favor of Calfornia’s Layshia Clarendon. The Los Angeles took Kentucky’s A’dia Mattheis with the 10th pick.
“I was very nervous, simply because I like to have a plan, I like to know what is happening,” Faris said. “There were a few picks there I thought might be me. I was just waiting to hear my name and the sigh of relief. My heart was beating out of my chest.
“I am so happy Connecticut decided to show their faith and trust in me. I’m glad I am going to have this family behind me.”
When veteran Asjha Jones informed the Sun she would not play this season in order to rest her aching body focus finding a post was also a priority.
The Sun did that with its second-round pick [23rd overall], 6-7 center Anna Prins of Iowa State. And they completed the day with South Florida guard Andrea Smith in the third round [35th overall].