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NCAA clears Facey, eligible to play four years

Gaivn Keefe

Publication: theday.com

Published October 25. 2013 2:00PM   Updated October 25. 2013 4:53PM

UConn and freshman Kentan Facey received some good news today.

The NCAA has granted Facey a waiver, meaning that he'll be eligible to play four years, starting this season. He has been practicing with the Huskies while waiting to hear about his status.

"I am so pleased and excited that everything has worked out for this outstanding young man," coach Kevin Ollie said in a released statement. "It's great to see him go through this situation and persevere. He just kept working very hard and believed in our university."

Facey tweeted: "Uconn compliance staff is dead serious!!!! Thank you Lord!!!! @NCAA thank y'all too"

With the 6-foot-9 forward cleared to play, the Huskies will be deeper and stronger in the frontcourt.

While unpolished offensively, Facey is expected help out in the rebounding and shot-blocking departments.

Ollie has raved about Facey's work ethic and energy.

"He has a relentless motor, getting up and down the court," Ollie said. "He's another shot blocker. He's an energy giver, not an energy taker. He's developed his jump shot where he's got more range now. … I just think he's going to be a person that can come in and give us major minutes as a freshman."

Facey's eligibility issue had to do with his academic background. He passed a standardized test in his native Jamaica and then moved to New York where he attended Long Island Lutheran for two years. During his senior year, he averaged 14.8 points, 13 points and 4.5 blocks and earned the New York State Gatorade Player of the Year for the 2012-13 season.

The NCAA reviewed his case and eventually cleared him.

"I want to thank our university compliance department, which went above and beyond to help us with Kentan's situation and the NCAA, which took the time to evaluate all the extenuating circumstances before making a final decision," Ollie said. "Obviously, we feel it was the fair solution."

"I can't say enough about what a model student-athlete Kentan has been in spite of the situation he was facing," Ollie said. "He never let circumstances distract his positive image of himself and that's just a testament to his strong character. We are very excited that he will be with us this year and beyond."

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