Frankie Ferrari Returns To The Hilltop

Frankie Ferrari brings professional experience from the NBA and overseas. Pictured from left to right: Mike Sharavjamts, Frankie Ferrari. Photo courtesy of Chris M. Leung/Dons Athletics.

This year, a familiar face returned to the Hilltop. Former Dons point guard, Frankie Ferrari, just completed his first season at USF as the men’s basketball assistant coach and director of player development. He brings with him his extensive professional experience.

Ferrari played for the Dons from 2014-19 and retired professionally in 2023, after successful professional stints in the National Basketball Association (NBA) G-League and Summer League with the Santa Cruz Warriors, Sacramento Kings, Memphis Grizzlies, Utah Jazz, and later in Spain and Poland.

In 2022, while with the Kings, Ferrari matched up against his former teammate and USF legend Jamaree Bouyea, in an NBA Summer League game against the Miami Heat.

The Burlingame native is fourth all-time, at USF, in free throw percentage (.821), fifth in assists (396), seventh in three-pointers made (171) and three-point percentage (.399), eighth in three-pointers attempted (447), and 38th in scoring (1,027). He is also tied with Jordan Ratinho and Nate Renfro for the single-season record for games played (39 in 2017-18).

Ferrari spoke on his return to the Bay Area, “Growing up I always knew I wanted to be a coach…I knew that I’d have to sit the shoes down sometime,” he said.

“Unfortunately for me, it ended a little earlier than I had planned just with injuries and stuff,” he continued. “And for me to start my coaching career at USF, it was always a place I called home…I was a ball boy as a kid and then having played [here]… and to come back and build the program that I feel like I had kind of rejuvenated it’s a special thing for me.”

As the former point guard took on the role of coach, his impact was evident through the development of the Dons guards this season. 

This season, the Dons had productive breakout years from guards Malik Thomas, Marcus Williams, and Ryan Beasley. Thomas earned West Coast Conference (WCC) First Team honors, Beasley won Freshman of the Year, and Williams was an Honorable Mention.

“I think I can really relate to the players because I was in their shoes not too long ago,” Ferrari said. “And then having done what they want to do… playing professionally and being in NBA arenas and things of that nature. I think that I can give them a good kind of sense of how it goes,” he added.

Beasley and Ferrari shared a special relationship this season as Beasley tried to make a name for himself. “Frankie had a great impact on my development,” Beasley said. “We would watch film after every game, just on different plays I had, and would break it down.”

He continued, “He’s been more of a mentor [for me], always in my ear just telling me things I can do to be better, and we would work with each other almost every day in practice. Overall, I’m not a complete product, and with the help of Frankie I believe I can get to where I want to go.”

Though the Dons fell short of their goals this season, Ferrari is optimistic that there will be more to see from USF next season.

“Just continuing the continuity that we built this year,” Ferrari said, “there’s a strong foundation…I think that we have a really good recipe to be an NCAA tournament team, just to kind of work hard and stay healthy and let the chips fall where they may.”

The Dons will return to War Memorial Gym in November 2024.

Editor-in-Chief: Megan Robertson, Chief Copy Editor: Sophia Siegel, Managing Editor: Jordan Premmer, Sports Editor: Chase Darden

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