LI's Kentan Facey cleared to play for UConn

Kentan Facey of Long Island Lutheran scores two Kentan Facey of Long Island Lutheran scores two of his 12 points against Bayside. (Jan. 21, 2013) Photo Credit: Errol Anderson

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HARTFORD, Conn. - Connecticut basketball player Kentan Facey was granted a waiver to play this season and allowed four years of eligibility by the NCAA, which was looking into eligibility issues related to his schooling in Jamaica, the university said Friday.

The 6-foot-9 forward had left the island's British education system to attend his final two years of high school at Long Island Lutheran High School.

Facey led LuHi into the state Federation of Champions Class AA title game, was voted New York's Gatorade Player of the Year and was named the winner of Newsday's Dick Sandler Award as the Long Island boys basketball player of the year.

The NCAA was looking into whether an exit exam he took in the British System before he left started his eligibility clock. The NCAA normally gives athletes one year after they leave high school to enroll in college without any penalties.

Facey took to Twitter Friday upon hearing he would be able to play this season.

"Uconn compliance staff is dead serious!!!! Thank you lord!!!! NCAA thank y'all too," he wrote.

Coach Kevin Ollie said the NCAA waiver means the 20-year-old Facey will have four years of eligibility starting this season.

"I can't say enough about what a model student-athlete Kentan has been in spite of the situation he was facing," Ollie said in a statement. "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."

Connecticut has eight players returning from a team that finished with a 20-10 record last season, when it was academically ineligible for the NCAA tournament.

He is expected to bolster a frontcourt, which had been the Huskies biggest question mark. Senior Tyler Olander was reinstated to the team this month after a suspension stemming from his arrest on drunken driving charges in September. Those charges were dropped after test results showed Olander was under the legal limit. He later pleaded guilty to driving without a license.

The team's other big men are sophomore Phil Nolan and another freshmen, 7-footer Amida Brimah out of Ghana.

UConn opens its season on Nov. 8 against Maryland at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.

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