You will be hearing and reading many stories and anecdotes about Heather Buck, Caroline Doty and Kelly Faris this weekend as they head to Saturday’s Senior Day at Gampel Pavilion.
Of course, this day comes a year late for Caroline and Heather, who would left the program last season with Tiffany Hayes had injury and illness not struck both of them during their careers, earning each a medical red-shirt season.
UConn fans get to know these young women as basketball players. We [the media] get a little deeper look at them during their careers. We literally watch them grow up with their parents and coaches.
I wanted to pass along this vignette, told to me yesterday by Heather about her relationship with Caroline. It took place after Caroline found out she’d injured her left knee for a third time during summer workouts prior to the 2010-11 season.
“I’m 22 years old now, Caroline is 23 and everything is all different now [from the day they arrived at UConn],” Buck said. “We’re old now. We have more perspective about so many things. The day we sat behind the UConn bench together [during UConn's First Night in 2007] was about being awestuck, a bunch of kids being dumb and having fun [by wearing blue balloons on their heads]. Now we are old and boring with real things to do in life.”
“My friendship with Carol [as many of her teammates call Doty] is very special. We’ve spent a lot of time together getting each other through things. We’ve joked a lot. We’ve cried a lot.
“Just having another person who has been through so many of the same things together is so wonderful. We talk to the freshmen sometimes [about experiences] and it’s nice to have some to reminiscence with, that remembers the same things you do about the past. And we’ve had the unique experience of having another year together with each other. It would be much different if just one of us was here.
“On the night when she [Doty] found out she’d hurt herself the third time, the only players left in the campus apartments were myself, Tiffany Hayes and Caroline. When Carol got back from her doctor’s appointment in New York, the three of us were completely overwhelmed with emotion.
“Caroline and Tiffany always had a special bond; as it usually always is with your roommate. The way that injury effected Tiffany was so different than it was for the rest of us. So we all just sat there on a futon, just feeling it.
“Finally, I was like, ‘Well, what do we need, what are we going to do?’ I went out an bought some ice cream, as many different kinds as possible. And we grabbed three spoons and sat there leaning on one another crying, laughing and eating ice cream. I don’t remember what kind of ice cream we had, but there must have been some chocolate because that’s Carol’s favorite.
“When things are happening on and off the court, we do gravitate to one another. We stick together. Little moments. We get each other out of them.”