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Final Four fast break: UConn walk-on a smart addition to basketball team

Player snapshot

Pat Lenehan

Jr., UConn

Home: Cheshire, Conn.

His story: One of eight full-time walk-ons for the Huskies, and one of three who made the trip with the team to the Final Four. Sat on the bench during the season but lack of room at the Final Four has moved him off the bench. “I’m pretty much with the team the whole time. I’m just not out there playing games. I see everything that’s going on.”

His role: “We’re the guys they play against during rebounding drills and five-on-five, whatever we need to do at practice. We’re treated just like any other member of the team. They’re all real good about that. There’s no separation between us really.”

His back story: “I didn’t even know you could try out for the team until I got to campus. There was a sign that said there were open tryouts. Tried out my freshman year (2012) with about 30 guys and they took four or five. Me and Tor [Watts] are the two left from that year.”

His fandom: “I was watching those [2011 tournament title run] games in my family room. I never really thought it was possible that I’d be on the UConn team, but it was definitely my favorite college team growing up and it was beyond my dreams to ever play here.”

His take: “I’ve felt like we’ve been really focused throughout the tournament in terms of practicing and film. First time. Same thing for my whole family. It’s their first time to be at an event like this, too.

His future: He’ll return as a senior walk-on next year and continue studying molecular and cell biology. “I’m smarter than I am good at basketball.”

1986 look back

Pervis Ellison earned his “Never Nervous Pervis” nickname while leading Louisville to the NCAA title as a freshman. He was named the most outstanding player after scoring 25 points in the championship win over Duke at Reunion Arena. He made 10 of 14 shots from the field and grabbed 11 rebounds.

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