Star Forward Heads to Deaflympics

She received scholarship offers to attend Division I schools, but women’s basketball forward Victoria “Tori” Faieta ’15, who has emerged as one of the top players in the Northeast-10 Conference, has zero regrets about choosing Stonehill.

“I wouldn’t take those Division I offers over Stonehill any day of the week” says Faieta, who scored her 1,000th career point in just the second game of her senior year.

While she will soon hang up her Stonehill jersey, Faieta will have the opportunity to represent America and travel to Taiwan next year and to Turkey in 2017 with the U.S. Deaflympic team.

At the age of four, Faieta was diagnosed with sensorineural hearing loss, the most common type of permanent hearing loss, but Stonehill Head Coach Trish Brown notes that her impairment has never defined who she is.

“The minute she stepped into this program, she’s been the kid who you love to coach. What she has done overcoming her hearing challenge is incredible. Tori has never let that be any part of who she is on the basketball court. She has developed not only into a great player, but also a great leader for us,” says Brown.

While her hearing impairment does present some obstacles during games, Faieta says she is able to overcome them thanks to the support of her coaches and teammates through the use of hand signals and eye contact.

One thing she can’t change is not being able to hear the referees’ whistles, but Faieta pokes fun at herself, laughing that she’ll “be running back after a foul is called.” Being able to laugh about things like that are key, she says. “You have to have humility, be able to make fun of yourself and just embrace your challenges.”

When she’s not playing basketball, Faieta is hard at work in the classroom as a graphic design major. “I love that it’s visual. I can use my creativity and not have to worry so much about hearing things.”

The team’s faculty advisor, Communication Professor Anne Mattina, remembers first meeting Faieta when she was still in high school. “As a recruit, Tori attended one of my classes to see what a college classroom would be like. With patience, humor and grace, she helped me figure out assistive technology. I have come to realize that those three characteristics epitomize Tori’s approach to life; they are also what make her the successful student, athlete and person she is.”

Above right:  Senior forward Tori Faieta ’15 has led Stonehill in rebounding each of the last three seasons.

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