Kia Fernandes' basketball career has involved two tremendous leaps forward.
From her sophomore to junior year at Wareham High School she went from a part-time varsity player to a Standard-Times All-Star, averaging 14 points and 11 rebounds a game.
Similarly, between her sophomore and junior years at Salem State, the 6-foot Fernandes went from averaging 10 points and 7 rebounds in her first two seasons to 15 and 10 in her third, numbers she is currently duplicating as a senior.
"The program here really allows you to grow," she said. "Our coaches have a lot of confidence in me, especially our coach right now. He has extremely high expectations for me. That pushed me to want to be better and to try to have the freedom to go out there and do new things."
From the get-go, Fernandes has been a regular for the Vikings, starting 81 of her 93 career games. Things haven't always been smooth. She's playing for her third coach in as many years and Salem State, which hasn't recorded a winning record since the 2009-10 season, has a cumulative record of 26-64 in her tenure.
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