March 13, 2000
By Marisa N. Schwertfeger
The UCLA basketball team will be losing an important member at the end of this season. For the past four years, Sean Farnham has been the emotional leader in a program that has experienced the lowest of lows and the highest of highs. He has exhibited maturity and class beyond his years. In effect, Farnham has become the model student-athlete at UCLA. If anything, he is one to be admired and emulated.
For Farnham, attending UCLA has been the realization of a dream. That dream began while visiting the campus when his sister was looking at colleges. During that visit, Farnham fell in love with the school. He remembers telling his father that he was going to be here one day. And, when the opportunity presented itself to attend the school, he jumped at it. In 1996, Farnham became a Bruin and a member of the single greatest basketball tradition in the nation. His career as a Bruin has been the realization of dreams and the accomplishment of many goals. "To be a captain on this year's team is a childhood dream come true," he said. One of the highs of his Bruin career was starting his first game. "The first time I started, against Arizona, is probably my fondest memory because it was so unexpected to so many, including myself," he recalls. "One day, I wanted to start and hear my name come out of the speakers in Pauley Pavilion. To actually hear that last year was absolutely amazing."
As one of this year's co-captains, Farnham has been leading the Bruins in the best way he knows. "I've tried to be more vocal than I have in years past and try to keep the team's spirits up. It sounds like a broken record, but it's really what I've been trying to do," he says. "I've been telling people that if it isn't going well for you, just work harder. If there's something else that you can do to help out the team, then you do it. It will all come back to you in the end."
According to Coach Steve Lavin, "Sean is the blueprint of what a student-athlete's experience should be at UCLA." Off the court, Farnham has taken advantage of all the opportunities within reach. From developing relationships with faculty, professors, athletic administrators, alumni and the student body to his segment, "The Farnham File," on FOX Sports West, Farnham truly has had the ideal UCLA experience. These are the things that set him apart from the average student and athlete. However, he has not become an inaccessible person. If anything, he has gained more support and respect, especially from the student body. "I think the students respect my effort and they have always been very supportive of me. Through the seasons, there have been tough times when everything hasn't been rosy and great for Sean," he says. "The student body has helped me to respond when I have checked into the ball game and they've given me that extra lift. It's something that is irreplaceable."
Farnham has had, in many ways, a wonderful career and experience at UCLA. True, he is not the premier player and he might not be the most talented player on the team. But, he has brought so much to the program. He understands that it takes a tremendous amount of hard work and desire to have a winning season. He knows exactly what his greatest contribution has been. "The greatest contribution that I've made to this program is my consistent energy level. I am always trying to find the good in everything and not be a negative force. I try to stay positive when things haven't gone well and try to lift others' spirits," he states.
As one of his last goals as a UCLA athlete, Farnham wanted to express his gratitude. "I really want to thank the fans at UCLA for all that they've done for me. I can't say enough about the fans. Especially, though, my family, my mom and dad, my sister and her husband, Charles, who have always stood by me and have helped me through the tough times. Their support is something that I'd really like to stress."
As the final chapter of the Farnham File comes to a close, it is we who thank Sean for his incredible determination, hard work and excellent example, both on and off the court. From the UCLA community, "Thank you, Sean."