Badocchi Clarifies His Decision To Leave UVA Basketball

By Jerry Ratcliffe

Photo Courtesy UVA Media Relations

At last glance, Frankie Badocchi was on a temporary stage at Scott Stadium, playing “One Shining Moment” before 25,000 Wahoos celebrating Virginia’s national basketball championship.

Badocchi, an accomplished pianist, was playing the song that traditionally is heard in the arena following the national title game. He was on a portable keyboard, unaccompanied, and entertaining the massive turnout.

The 6-foot-7 redshirt sophomore from Milan, Italy — via Bishop Miege in Mission, Kansas — shocked Virginia’s fan base earlier this week when the school announced that Badocchi had left the Cavaliers’ basketball program but would remain enrolled.

Since then, Badocchi has offered more of an explanation to his decision. He sent a message to UVA coach Tony Bennett and staff, along to friends and Wahoo fans on his Instagram account:

“To all of you who have supported me and followed me during my two years on the Virginia basketball team, it is with regret that I wish to inform you of my decision to not continue to be a part of the team this year,” Badocchi wrote.

“It was a very difficult decision to make after spending two incredible years with the team but I realize that I need more time to focus on my academic studies and pursue my passion for music which up until now I’ve had to sacrifice in order to dedicate my time almost exclusively to basketball.

“There aren’t enough words to thank Coach Bennett, the coaching staff, the technical and medical staff, the fans and my teammates who have helped make these two years such an incredible experience. I will continue my studies at the University of Virginia in economics and music and will always be support the Cavaliers!! Go Hoos!”

When the school released a statement Monday, Bennett said it was unfortunate that Badocchi’s career had come to an end prematurely but appreciated his contributions to the program and wished him well.

Badocchi only saw action in 11 games last season, totaling 28 minutes, scoring five points in a mop-up role, and there was some question as to how big a role he might play on the 2019-20 team.

While he will be missed by all, his exit does open up another scholarship for the recruiting class, which already includes small forward Jabri Abdur-Rahim, point guard Reece Beekman, and guard Carson McCorkle.

It will be interesting to see what direction the Cavaliers may go in with the freed-up scholarship. There is an early signing date in November.


  1. John Boyd says:

    Mr Badocchi appears to be a fine young man who is following the best career path for his success and happiness…this is another classy incident for UVA basketball, Coach Bennett, and Frankie.

  2. JoAnne Klinker says:

    Best of luck to you, Frankie. And go Hoos!!!

  3. Guido Saibene says:

    Ciao Franky, ti auguro ogni bene e ti abbraccio con affetto
    Guido Saibene

  4. i think it worst decision of Badocchi and the whole team.

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