July 20, 2013

Ferrari in the lead

Kevin McCarthy

It's the age-old question that defies an answer. No, not why do people fall in love but rather why some basketball players get 'it' while others don't? Frankie Ferrari of Lunardi's and Burlingame High is the epitome of the former so how did he achieve such a status?

photo of Frankie Ferrari

The 5-foot-11 point owns the patent to the description cool, calm and collected and that status has a grounding through an early immersion in basketball and a resulting sagacity beyond his numerical age.

“My dad's a coach and since age three I've been with him when he's in the gym so I've been exposed to a ton of basketball,” Ferrari explained. “We've been going to NCAA tournament games since I was a very young age.”

He views “my Dad for sure”” as his biggest basketball influence. “He's in the gym with me whether it's for two hours or five hours.”

Additionally, “I've always been playing up (his older brother is two years his elder) and when you're a young guy playing with older teammates, you shoot 30 times and they'll be wondering 'who is this guy?' My job is setting teammates up.”

Making it a trifecta, Ferrari offered, “I'm 5-foot-11 and 160 pounds so I'm not going to be THE guy at the next level.”

At the Nor Cal Summer Tip Off this past weekend, Ferrari put on a display of basketball acumen that acquired him more followers than Megan Fox's Twitter and Facebook accounts combined. Nothing was forced, teammates received the ball in their sweet spots and he played seemingly effortlessly, anticipating correctly what each situation called for.

So what does Ferrari rate as his top level skills?

“My overall basketball IQ, my passing and my shooting ability.”

Conversely, he's working on “getting bigger, stronger and faster.”

A basketball, baseball, soccer, football and boxing participant in his younger days, his sport of choice became strictly hoops beginning his junior year. This even though his success on the diamond, along with friend Henry Caruso, (of Serra High hoops fame) had many figuring Ferrari would be a bigtime college baseball player. Of course, he played quarterback in football and as a shortstop in baseball -- each position requiring judgment, leadership and featuring much more responsibility than say a wide receiver or a first baseman. “I like the pressure because the most important thing is winning.”

Luckily for all, roundball won out.

Although he sees his on-court roles vis-a-vis with Lundardi's and Burlingame as similar, he explained “I shoot more in high school ball but I don't need to do so with AAU because we have so many scorers.”

Asked what, if any, differences he see in his game beginning with his freshman year up to now, Ferrari said, “I'm more mature, a better leader and a better decision maker.”

As for recruiting, he received some offers before the weekend was finished. Idaho State stepped up as did Chico State, Alaska Anchorage and San Francisco. The gamut of those showing interest includes St. Mary's, Portland, Denver, Citadel, Columbia, Brown, Eastern Washington, Sacramento State and Cal State Bakersfield.

“What I am looking for is a winning program, a team that plays in the NCAA or NIT tournaments and a coach who believes in me as a player.”

With Ferrari at the point, his college coach will have a much better chance of remaining cool, calm and collected.