Burlingame’s Frankie Ferrari getting into gear for USF 

click to enlarge Frankie Ferrari
  • Courtesy Willie Eastman Jr.
  • Frankie Ferrari, who will play for USF next year, has helped the South Bay Spartans to a 3-3 record in the San Francisco Bay Area Pro-Am.
For the past 35 years, fans have packed Kezar Pavilion to get a glimpse of the San Francisco Bay Area Pro-Am League.

Teams are made up of current and former college, pro, international and even NBA players. Warriors star Stephen Curry made an appearance at Kezar this month, dropping in 43 points and putting on a show for the crowd all night long.

This league is arguably more important to the players who are trying to further develop their game and prepare for college basketball. Former Burlingame High School standout Frankie Ferrari is on that list of players who are fortunate enough to play basketball at the next level. He has already signed with USF and is using the Pro-Am to improve on some of his weaknesses.

“This league is helping me with my defense,” Ferrari said. “Playing against more athletic guys is one of the big transitions from high school to college. There’s a lot more athletes that are bigger, faster and stronger so I’m just trying to make adjustments to that type of game.”

You can catch the 5-foot-11 point guard playing for the South Bay Spartans, who are currently in a tie for second place at 3-3. The Spartans dropped their game last week to the first-place Bay Raiders (5-1) 106-93. Ferrari chipped in with nine points. South Bay plays its final regular-season game tonight at 8 against East Bay (2-4). The top five teams advance to next week’s playoffs.

“The most fun part about participating in this league has been going up against so many different guys,” Ferrari said. “You get pros from overseas, you get good college players, there’s good competition night in and night out and it gets you better.”

USF coach Rex Walters is excited to have Frankie on board for the upcoming season.

“I like Frankie’s competitiveness and toughness,” Walters said. “He has natural leadership qualities and is a true point guard. He can shoot, pass and handle the ball really well, he just needs to get used to the speed and physicality.”

Walters knows how hard the transition from high school to college basketball can be, but he believes Ferrari can handle it.

“Freshman year is always a transition year. There is so much that you have to learn,” said Walters, who said Ferrari could see key minutes as a freshman. “Point guard is the hardest position to learn so we will try to be patient. Frankie is very coachable and we know he’s going to work extremely hard, he has a bright future.”

Ferrari had quite the high school career in which he won numerous accolades. In his senior season, he averaged 22 points, seven assists, five rebounds and three steals per game, good enough to garner Peninsula Athletic League South MVP honors.

It appears that Ferrari is ready for the challenges that will come with playing college basketball.

“I just want to come in, contribute and help our team win. I’ll do anything I’m called upon to do,” Ferrari said. “I know the intensity will be a lot different. There’s no time to take plays off up here, you get pushed to your limits and it’s a whole new game so you just have to make adjustments.”

Pro-Am standings

Bay Raiders: 5-1

Oakland Believers: 3-3

South Bay: 3-3

Dream Team: 3-3

SF City: 3-3

Bay Pride: 3-3

Bay City: 2-4

East Bay: 2-4

This week’s schedule

All games at 8 p.m. at Kezar Pavilion

Today: South Bay vs. East Bay

Tuesday: Bay City vs. SF City

Wednesday: Oakland Believers vs. Bay Raiders

Thursday: Bay Pride vs. Dream Team

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Diyari Karadaghi

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