By Madisen Carter
Burlingame native and University of San Francisco alumnus, Frankie Ferrari, now has two seasons of playing ball overseas under his belt. Ferrari started his career with BAXI Manresa, having a successful 2019-20 season, and found his way back to the city at the end of his second season in Spain.
Ferrari started off the 2020-21 season with the Herbalife Gran Canaria basketball team. He played 12 games with the team before signing a two-month temporary contract with Unicaja Málaga. Ferrari explained that Unicaja Málaga had brought on a new coach when he was there, and since Ferrari was a short-term player compared to some guards who had two or three year contracts, his playing time was cut short.
He then knew he needed to find his third team of the season. Ferrari said thankfully he and his former team, BAXI Manresa, had a good connection. Ferrari and the team were able to arrange an agreement where he would play the final three months of the season with BAXI Manresa.
Ferrari averaged 11.8 points per game, 5.3 assists and 1.6 rebounds. He had seven games scoring in the double digits including a season-high 26-point game.
“It was exciting to be playing again, playing well in a system where I was familiar with, an environment that I was comfortable in and very well supported,” Ferrari said.
Ferrari said that he and BAXI Manresa’s head coach, Pedro Martínez, have a unique relationship. He mentioned that Martínez took a chance and believed in him coming out of college to play in one of the best European basketball leagues, Liga ACB. Even now that the season is over, Ferrari said he and Coach Martínez talk back and forth weekly.
“He saw something in me and believed in me from the moment that I got there my rookie year, and I had immediate success and then dealt with an injury,” Ferrari said. “Then to be able to circle back, and for him to give me another opportunity to come back, kind of resurface myself, reshape the way I played and get my confidence back, it was huge… He's someone that I have to give a huge amount of credit [to] for his belief in me, and kind of still guiding me throughout the process now. I'm sure we'll have a lifetime friendship.”
BAXI Manresa finished the 2020-21 season 17-19 overall. In the 11 games Ferrari was with the team, the team went 7-4. Ferrari had a total of 130 points, 58 assists and 18 rebounds with BAXI Manresa.
Ferrari said living in Spain compared to his home state in California was much different. It was different from the lifestyle, to the language and to the game of basketball. He learned a lot during his time of two years in Spain, and said that he has enjoyed it and believes playing there has benefited his game. He has learned to be in the moment and now has a deeper appreciation of being able to be in a different country playing basketball.
“[I learned to] take it day by day and enjoy the little things. [Such as] go for a walk and talk to a new person, or on an off day go drive a couple hours and go to a random beach town or a city and explore that and bring a camera and take pictures,” Ferrari said. “I think that was something that I have kind of implemented late in the season this past year, and will really implement this year. [Just] enjoying myself and [know that] this is a once in a lifetime opportunity for me.”
Ferrari arrived back home in Burlingame, California in May and has allowed himself to have a mental and physical break from basketball. He said he has put in the time to reshape his body such as doing yoga for his flexibility, rehabbing and building his foundation in the weight room. He said that at this point, this is the best he has ever felt in his career. Since the middle of June he has started to get back into the gym to prepare himself for next season and new opportunities.
This week is his first week back working with UPB’s Coach Packie. Ferrari said on their first day working with each other, he and Coach Packie emphasized working on getting separation when getting switched to guard bigger guys on the court and raising his percentage around the rim.
As of now Ferrari is a free agent and hopes to know within the next two to three weeks where he will be going next season. Until then, Ferrari will be working hard in the UPB Training facility five to six days a week, mixing in weights and rehab so he can be in the best shape possible when he reports to training camp.
Ferrari said one of his biggest goals for next season is to remain healthy the whole year and to continue taking it day by day.
“My goal is to kind of enjoy each day, you know, be a good person, be a good teammate, help an organization win [and] keep [my] body healthy,” Ferrari said. “Then I think the rest will really take care of itself and people will be really surprised."