Q&A: New UVA MBB Signee Francesco Badocchi

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The University of Virginia’s newest basketball recruit, Francesco Badocchi, is a native of Milan, Italy, who has lived with his aunt and uncle in Kansas the past two years while attending Bishop Miege High School. Basketball was a reason for him making the move from Italy to the U.S., and the move paid dividends as the 6’7”, 210-pound forward (he confirmed he is 6’7” and has a 7’0” wing span) signed with UVA on Wednesday of this week.

Badocchi enjoyed both individual and team success in his two seasons with the Bishop Miege boys varsity basketball squad, which captured the Division 4A state title in 2015/2016 and again in 2016/2017. The senior forward had mid-major recruiting attention before high-major schools such as Virginia and Illinois entered the picture this spring. Both the Cavaliers and Fighting Illini offered and hosted the under-the-radar prospect on official visits, but head coach Tony Bennett received the commitment last Sunday.

Bishop Miege head coach Rick Zych discussed his standout senior’s ascension to becoming a high-major recruit.

“Number one, he was kind of under-the-radar and one of the reasons is he doesn’t play AAU basketball,” Zych said of Badocchi, who averaged 14.7 points, 6.2 rebounds, and 2.8 blocks per game his senior season. “We’ve all known he is a good player, but he ended [the 2015/2016 season] with a knee injury and went home to nurse that injury. He came back and had a great year. He was the MVP of the state tournament.”

“He was always very talented,” Zych continued. “He got bigger and stronger. He had the knee injury and fought off that. He’s so coachable. We had him and a couple other kids with some size. We were fortunate to have him. He can pass.