Sports

Braccia takes informed approach to recruiting

Aidan Braccia (2) said SHP coach Tony Martinelli (standing) "was always there for me," during the recruiting process. Photo taken Feb. 6, 2022 by Rick Eymer.

Aidan Braccia, Sacred Heart Prep’s sharpshooting guard, played a lot of different sports growing up. He simply gravitated toward basketball.

It’s easy to see why. He spent his formative years watching cousins Henry Caruso and Frankie Ferrari play in high school (Serra and Burlingame, respectively) and college (Princeton/Santa Clara and USF, respecively).

“I grew up around Division I basketball,” Braccia said after SHP’s recent win at Menlo School. “I was a big Arizona fan and it’s been my dream to play D-I since the fifth grade.”

That’s just about the time Caruso was playing at Santa Clara. He led Serra to three consecutive NorCal appearances between 2010-13.

Ferrari, one of the many Ferraris who passed through Burlingame, was just beginning his college career. He’s a member of the 1,000-point club at University of San Francisco and is a two-time all-West Coast Conference first team pick.

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And now, like his cousins, Braccia will take his game to Division I. He committed to Belmont University in Nashville after narrowing his choices to San Francisco, Notre Dame and Belmont.

How many times has he been on the Belmont campus? “Just one,” Braccia said. “All I needed was one.”

Braccia grew comfortable with the coaching staff and loves the Bruins’ fast-paced tempo.

Vanderbilt University is just a few blocks away, downtown Nashville is a two-minute drive and the Belmont campus is on the edge of “Music Row,” a section of the city synonymous with country music.

Braccia arrived at his decision after completing due diligence of everything college basketball. After all, he’s been preparing for this at least seven years.

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“I went to a lot of camps during middle school,” Braccia said, “which are great opportunities to play in front of coaches. COVID made things different. I did a lot of things on my own. This last summer, we got a chance to play in front of coaches again and that helps get your name out there.”

He’s sought advice about the recruiting process from a wide range of the basketball spectrum. One of them was his current coach, Tony Martinelli.

“Tony was always there for me,” Braccia said. “He was a huge help in picking a school.”

Martinelli said he offered common sense advice.

“It’s just about making sure he goes to a place where he’s going to be happy,” Martinelli said. “From my end, I said to go to a place that runs a system similar to what we do here. It’s always going to be his decision and feeling comfortable right away could mean playing time right away.”

Belmont, 20-5, 10-2 in the Ohio Valley Conference as of Feb. 7, looks like a perfect choice. The Bruins average over 80 points a game.

“I love to play fast,” Braccia said.

Belmont, which joined the ranks of Division I in 1997, will be a member of the Missouri Valley Conference next year.

Braccia owns a career scoring pace of 13.2 points, which includes a full freshman season in which he played a back-up role and only reached double figures in a handful of games.

He scored at a 22.3 pace in last season’s shortened schedule. He scores at an 18.2 clip this year, with a significantly better team (Emmer Nichols spent last year in Australia).

“A lot of it comes down to your mentality,” Braccia said. “You have to have the courage and the confidence in yourself to out yourself out there. It’s a lot of hard work.”

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Braccia takes informed approach to recruiting

by / Palo Alto Online

Uploaded: Mon, Feb 7, 2022, 10:47 pm

Aidan Braccia, Sacred Heart Prep’s sharpshooting guard, played a lot of different sports growing up. He simply gravitated toward basketball.

It’s easy to see why. He spent his formative years watching cousins Henry Caruso and Frankie Ferrari play in high school (Serra and Burlingame, respectively) and college (Princeton/Santa Clara and USF, respecively).

“I grew up around Division I basketball,” Braccia said after SHP’s recent win at Menlo School. “I was a big Arizona fan and it’s been my dream to play D-I since the fifth grade.”

That’s just about the time Caruso was playing at Santa Clara. He led Serra to three consecutive NorCal appearances between 2010-13.

Ferrari, one of the many Ferraris who passed through Burlingame, was just beginning his college career. He’s a member of the 1,000-point club at University of San Francisco and is a two-time all-West Coast Conference first team pick.

And now, like his cousins, Braccia will take his game to Division I. He committed to Belmont University in Nashville after narrowing his choices to San Francisco, Notre Dame and Belmont.

How many times has he been on the Belmont campus? “Just one,” Braccia said. “All I needed was one.”

Braccia grew comfortable with the coaching staff and loves the Bruins’ fast-paced tempo.

Vanderbilt University is just a few blocks away, downtown Nashville is a two-minute drive and the Belmont campus is on the edge of “Music Row,” a section of the city synonymous with country music.

Braccia arrived at his decision after completing due diligence of everything college basketball. After all, he’s been preparing for this at least seven years.

“I went to a lot of camps during middle school,” Braccia said, “which are great opportunities to play in front of coaches. COVID made things different. I did a lot of things on my own. This last summer, we got a chance to play in front of coaches again and that helps get your name out there.”

He’s sought advice about the recruiting process from a wide range of the basketball spectrum. One of them was his current coach, Tony Martinelli.

“Tony was always there for me,” Braccia said. “He was a huge help in picking a school.”

Martinelli said he offered common sense advice.

“It’s just about making sure he goes to a place where he’s going to be happy,” Martinelli said. “From my end, I said to go to a place that runs a system similar to what we do here. It’s always going to be his decision and feeling comfortable right away could mean playing time right away.”

Belmont, 20-5, 10-2 in the Ohio Valley Conference as of Feb. 7, looks like a perfect choice. The Bruins average over 80 points a game.

“I love to play fast,” Braccia said.

Belmont, which joined the ranks of Division I in 1997, will be a member of the Missouri Valley Conference next year.

Braccia owns a career scoring pace of 13.2 points, which includes a full freshman season in which he played a back-up role and only reached double figures in a handful of games.

He scored at a 22.3 pace in last season’s shortened schedule. He scores at an 18.2 clip this year, with a significantly better team (Emmer Nichols spent last year in Australia).

“A lot of it comes down to your mentality,” Braccia said. “You have to have the courage and the confidence in yourself to out yourself out there. It’s a lot of hard work.”

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