When Francesca “Fran” Belibi burst on to the scene, she did so with a dunk. Then she dunked again.
That’s been the remarkable thing about Belibi’s rise from relative anonymity to top-35 prospect in the ESPN Hoop Gurlz rankings, and now to Stanford commit. The Regis Jesuit (Colo.) forward’s athleticism has endured while her game has continued to improve. Now she’s making a case to be the next big thing at the West Coast’s biggest program.
“Once we got through it, and once I finished all my official visits, Stanford was just the clear choice for me in terms of basketball, faith and the fact that it had a medical school on campus,” Belibi told the Denver Post.
For the daughter of doctors, a school with extremely rigorous academic programs was essential. That’s largely why her final three contenders were Stanford, Princeton, Harvard and Notre Dame. Of those four, Stanford and Notre Dame are perennial Final Four contenders, and the draw of the Cardinal proved to be the right siren song for her.
Yet the biggest news from Belibi’s commitment may have been her longer term plans. The first girl to dunk in a competitive Colorado game (in 2017), whose coach calls a “female Kobe,” is really more interested in being another Virginia Apgar.
“I want to be a doctor — I’ve seen how that can impact people’s lives,” Belibi told the Post. “I feel like I have more of a calling towards that, as compared to playing basketball for a long time.”