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Viking Great Claire Faucher Named Among Big Sky's Top All-Time Athletes
Written by Ryan McCall    Friday, 01 November 2013 00:41   

She left as one of the best players to ever don a Viking uniform.

Claire Faucher competed for the Portland State's women's basketball team from 2006-10, and ranks 21st on the Big Sky's "25 Greatest Female Athletes."

"Wow," said Faucher. "I'm thankful to my family for their love and support over the years and being my biggest fans. I'm thankful for my teammates and the honor it was for me to get to play alongside them - I don't know that they will ever know how much of a joy it was for me, and how I have grown as a person through the hard times and the great times we shared. I'm thankful for my coaches, the way they never stopped believing in me and putting me in positions to be successful. I'm thankful for the Portland State family and the opportunity to be a Viking. I will always be proud to be a Portland State alum."

Faucher started her career by earning the Big Sky Conference's Outstanding Freshman award after averaging 8.1 points per game, recording 122 assists and 48 steals. During her sophomore season, she broke the league individual game record in assists with 19 against Idaho State. 

"I remember that my teammates could not miss," said Faucher about the Idaho State game. They always made me look so good. I remember getting easy baskets in transition. I remember having fun in that game, like it just came easy that day."

At the end of the season, Faucher became PSU's first All-American at the NCAA Division I level, earning honorable mention status from the Associated Press.

In her final season with Portland State, in 2009-10, Faucher guided the Vikings to their first NCAA Tournament appearance. After PSU finished fifth in the Big Sky, Faucher helped guide the Vikings through the conference tournament with three victories to win the championship.

Faucher hit eight 3-pointers and scored 26 points in the championship against Montana State on her way to being named the Most Valuable Player of the tournament. She finished the three-day event averaging 15.0 points, 6.7 assists, 4.0 rebounds and 4.0 steals a game.

"So much of that year was looked at as a disappointment to a lot of people," said Faucher. "We were picked to win the conference at the beginning of the year, and then had a tough run where we hadn't put the pieces together the way we were hoping to. I remember getting the team together without the coaches before the tournament started. We had a conversation about playing for each other - about finishing on a high note. We talked about how we had nothing to lose in the tournament, and that we had not yet played together the way we knew we were capable of."

"It was fun to finally do that in those three games that led to the championship win," added Faucher. "I remember that we had fun playing hard, and that we all had this feeling like we were going to do whatever it took to win the championship - like we weren't going home without it. Again, I'd say it was an honor to be named MVP of the tournament - a testament to my team and our coaches. Also, some really faithful fans that followed us to Cheney to cheer us on."

In her final appearance in a Viking jersey, Faucher led her team to the NCAA Tournament where she had 15 points, three rebounds and four steals in their loss to ninth-ranked Texas A&M in the first round of the tournament.

"I remember it being the culmination of everything that we worked for as a program - and since we were little girls dreaming of playing college basketball," said Faucher. "To get to be part of the first of what I believe will be many NCAA appearances by Portland State, was pretty incredible. It was everything that people hype it up to be - a very special experience."

"It was a bummer to get a concussion at the end of the first half against A&M, because we had them on the ropes," added Faucher. "We gave them one heck of a 20 minute half - they were against the wall. We competed with the best - the following year's national champions. That's pretty special."
 

Claire Faucher 25 2
Faucher is also third all-time in steals with 282.
 

Faucher, from Yakima, Wash., holds the Big Sky career record in assists with 829. She is also third all-time in steals with 282.

"The assists piece is such a testament to my teammates and the system our coaches had us run," said Faucher. "My teammates bailed me out of several situations by hitting a lot of tough shots. I feel like we got to this place where I just knew where they were going to be, and they knew that if they got to a spot - that I would do everything I could to get them the ball. It was quite a joy to play with my teammates."

"It's an honor to be at the top of the list in the Big Sky in assists," added Faucher. "I know there have been more than a few great point guards in the conference, so to be at the top in the assists category is an honor. It actually makes me laugh to think that I'm in third place in the steals category because all of my coaches and teammates over the years would probably say I was the world's worst defender. I just had a knack for the ball I suppose. Though, it did get me into enough trouble at practice when I'd go for a steal and miss. My coaches were always trying to get me to play a little safer defense."

Not only did Faucher take care of business on the court, she also took care of business in the classroom, earning Academic All-Conference honors in each of her final three season and being named an ESPN The Magazine/CoSIDA Academic All-District VIII third team honoree as a junior.

On Sept. 29, 2010, Claire Faucher joined Oregon State's basketball staff as an Assistant Director of Operations. She left OSU in the spring of 2011. She currently works for a non-profit organization called Young Life in the Portland area.

"Young Life is a Christian organization that reaches out to high school and middle school students,'' she said ."Every single day I can't believe what I get to do with high schoolers. My life has been changed so much in these last couple of years.  I really love the kids in the community I work with and how I get to share with them some pretty incredible news. Young Life changed my life when I was in high school, so I can't believe I get to do the same thing now."

 

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