More Heather Buck Q&A

We continue our interview with Heather Buck, following the four-star center recruit's announcment that she has cut her school list to a final four. The Connecticut native discusses what she likes about each of Stanford, UConn, Maryland and Holy Cross. Buck also answers questions about the Stanford admissions application and the pros and cons she sees on The Farm.

For these four schools remaining on your list, would you mind giving a comment or summary for each of them - what is special or unique?

"UConn is obviously my hometown team.  Even with the Connecticut Defenders coming here, UConn women's basketball is one of the most important sports teams in the state.  I've watched them for years.  They have a girl from my high school there, Jacquie Fernandes.  It's close to home, and they've been an established program.

"Holy Cross is not as big as the other schools, but Bill Gibbons is a great guy.  They are always successful in their conference and one of the top teams there.  They have a girl [Bethany O'Dell] who is going to be a sophomore there, who was on our older AAU team, and her younger sister plays on my team.  So I know I have that connection there.  And it's a great academic school.

"Stanford is also a great academic school.  Tara VanDerveer is a great coach.  I think that being from the East Coast, I don't hear about them as much as a basketball program - more of an academic school.  While going through the recruiting process, you find new and great things about lots of schools.

"Maryland - Brenda Frese has completely revamped that program and turned it around.  It's another one where I hadn't really heard of it when I started looking at schools.  Of course, winning the national championship put them on everybody's radar.  She is really a nice person and a great coach.  I went to watch their practice after they had lost to Duke - their first loss of the season.  It was a really reassuring thing to see her using it as a teaching opportunity.  I've just been very impressed with what she has done there."

On Stanford, we have talked before about the admissions process that is unique to their recruiting.  Now that they have survived to your cut of four schools, do you dive into the application now?  Or are you still waiting to do that, maybe after you get further into this process?

"I have been working on it, but it has taken a back seat to some of the other things that have been going on this summer.  But I will be pulling it out again [laughs]."

During the summer when you don't have school on your plate, is pulling out the application and writing a series of essays just a hard thing to do, especially when basketball, travel and recruiting take up so much?

"Actually it has been taking a back seat to my schoolwork.  At Stonington, when you take AP classes, you do a summer assignment for it.  Actually, several assignments for each class.  I've had two biology assignments due already, one English assignment and one calculus assignment due.  So I've been working quite a bit on schoolwork over the summer."

Do you have your own mental target or a timeline for when you might have the application completed and submitted?

"As soon as possible.  I gave the information to my teachers and to my guidance counselor that they need for that part of the process, before I left for Colorado.  It's all on me now [laughs].  I just have to really focus and get going on it.  Hopefully I can get some of that done really soon."

With your junior grades all finalized at Stonington, do you have an updated cumulative GPA?

"I don't have my GPA.  I know my grades.  I don't have my new class rank.  Those are the things that the guidance office does over the summer.  Usually mid-July, but I don't have that.  The last time I knew my GPA, it was a 4.39.  I had two AP classes, which I got B's in, but they are weighted more heavily than A's in regular classes.  I think it's either going to pretty much stay the same or go up slightly."

You took your SAT a while ago, and I don't remember you having any retake at the very end of your junior year...

"I didn't, but I do plan on taking it again in the fall.  I would like to retake it because I did have a personal goal I fell short of, but not by a lot.  It's not like it's out of reach.  Also, looking at Stanford's average scores, I fall slightly below them.  It is kind of one of things where I just missed it.  Being the competitive person that I am [laughs], I would like to do better."

"On the 1600 scale, I got a 1320.  Out of the 2400, I was hoping to break 2000, and I had 1930."

Listening to the different things you listed for the four schools, you gave very specific basketball areas where you are interested in those coaches or programs.  For Stanford, you said that you don't hear as much about them out there basketball-wise, known maybe more for its academics.  What is the best you can see in terms of what Stanford offers with its basketball?

"Tara VanDerveer has been recognized for her coaching abilities in many ways.  She coached the USA team.  She has two national championships.  She has done many more things that I don't know about as a coach.  They have a great team, and they have great girls.  They are very similar to me in terms of how they love basketball and enjoy playing it, but they are also focused academically.  They have gone there in part because of Stanford's academic reputation.

"What I meant is that anytime you say 'Stanford' around here, people say, 'Oh that's such a great academic school.'  Krista Rappahahn went there and is from a couple towns away.  She was a great shooter there and was a part of a great team.  Still, most of the people around here think of it more as an academic school than: 'They have a great basketball team.'  They have made very good showings in the NCAA Tournaments."

What is the thing that you find yourself grappling with Stanford the most right now?

"It is very far away.  I am very close to my family.  Even just looking at the schedule, they don't come east very often.  When they do, it's not really to the Northeast.  But it's not going to be the deciding factor.  It's not going to be something that puts them out of the running.  It's just something that you have to take into consideration."


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