Hopedale’s Brianna Frongillo Amongst the DVC Girls Basketball League Leaders

Christopher Tremblay
Photos by Steve Bassignani
Issue Date: 
March, 2018
Article Body: 

It’s not every day that you find an eighth grader playing on your varsity team, but such is the case at Hopedale. Girls Basketball Coach Corey Phillips has eighth grader Brianna Frongillo not only on his varsity squad, but she is also the starting point guard for the Blue Raiders.
“She’s a very good talent, one of the most talented I’ve seen in some time and her ball handling is incredible,” the Hopedale Coach said. “She’s not automatic yet, but she is getting there.”
Frongillo got involved with basketball somewhere between first and second grade when her father introduced her to sports early on. And although she now plays softball as well as basketball, the latter is her favorite and something she eventually hopes to do while attending college in five years.
During the early years it was town rec leagues before she eventually joined an AAU program in the fourth grade and recently she has taken up with the Bay State Jaguars.
“AAU basketball has definitely helped my game and I am playing better,” she said. “I find myself a very versatile scorer and passer, but still need to work one my rebounding and defense. I’ll eventually get there I just need to keep working hard during practice and my free time.”
Unlike many underclassmen trying out for a varsity team the Hopedale eighth grader was not in the slightest nervous. She felt confident in her ability and knew what kind of player that she was and what she could bring to the table. If she played to her potential, she knew that she had a good chance to make the team.
“The team surprised me, they were very welcoming and didn’t look at me as an eighth grader,” the Hopedale point guard said. “I just went out there and showed them that IO deserved to be there and that I could help this team.”
Being of the smaller stature her coaches just assumed that she should play point guard and it was something that Frongillo found comfortable in playing.
“Point guard is my favorite position and I really like playing it as I’m involved in the decision making and handling the ball,” she said. “I was ok with the position when coaches first told me that’s where I should play, so I’ve stuck with it.”
Playing in her very first varsity game the underclassmen didn’t really have a lot to remember, but she does recall her second game.
“My first game was a blowout win and I played well, but there was nothing special about it. It did give me the opportunity to get use to my teammates,” Frongillo said. “The next game was a lot closer (a 5 point victory) where I scored 28. It was nothing that I expected, but I was hitting my shots and my teammates kept feeding me the ball giving me open shots.”
Coach Phillips has liked what he has seen early on in his point guard, but realizes she is only an eighth grader and will not consistently knock down 28 points per game.
“She has had two 28-pount games this year, but she also had a 2-poinbt game against a senior laden Milford team,” the coach said. “She’s averaging 14.6 points per game, which is amongst the league leaders, and schools are starting to catch on to her play and have been double teaming her a lot.”
Prior to the season the young point guard didn’t really set any goals for herself, she was only interested in showing that she belonged on the team and could play varsity basketball, proving that just because she’s an eighth grader doesn’t mean she couldn’t play the sport.
For the team she was hoping that they could finally have a winning season and earn a spot in the tournament. Hopedale recently captured its 10th win with three games left in the regular season.
“Now that we have earned a spot in the tournament we have set our standards higher,” Frongillo said. I feel that I have played well and contributed to the team’s success. I love being on this team and my teammates and hope we can make the school proud.”