Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Fran Belibi and the Dunk Heard Round the World

Two years ago, a sophomore from Regis Jesuit became the first female to throw down in a Colorado high school basketball game. Here’s how the moment became a viral sensation.

Shane Monaghan, 5280.com, January 14, 2019

When Fran Belibi began playing basketball during her freshman year at Aurora’s Regis Jesuit High School, she wasn’t aware that women almost never dunk. That naïveté served her well. During a January 2017 game against Grand Junction High School, the then sophomore became the first female to throw down in a Colorado high school game. After the contest, which Regis won, the dunk became a viral sensation, with many designating Belibi as the future of women’s basketball. (Her hype went supernova this month, when on January 12 the 6-1 senior became the first high schooler in the country to catch and finish an alley-oop during a game). Before Belibi heads off to Stanford later this year, those
who were there take a look back the phenom’s first historic slam.


Sunday, January 13, 2019

Stanford recruit Fran Belibi dunks on alley-oop in Regis Jesuit win

espnw.com, Janaury 12, 2019

We already knew Fran Belibi could dunk. But we didn't know she could dunk like that.
The Regis Jesuit senior put down a one-handed alley-oop off a sweet assist from sophomore Avery Vansickle. It even had the coach who has seen Belibi dunk time and time again out of his seat .
"It was absolutely insane," Regis Jesuit coach Carl Mattei said. "I had goose bumps."
The alley-oop counted for just two of the 23 points the Stanford signee had Saturday in a 90-14 Regis Jesuit (Aurora, Colorado) win over league opponent Heritage (Littleton, Colorado).
The 6-foot-1 Belibi also had 23 rebounds.

Fran's and her Girls' high school basketball team pulls off incredible fast break alley-oop

Michelle Matinelli, usatoday.com, January 12, 2019

Francesca Belibi became a high school dunking sensation when, as a sophomore two seasons ago, she was the first girl to dunk in a Colorado high school basketball game, according to espnW. Now a senior committed to Stanford, the 6-foot-1 five-star recruit continues to impress, and her latest jaw-dropping play came Saturday during a game with her Regis Jesuit (Aurora, Colo.) team.
Belibi’s teammate, Avery VanSickle, had the ball for what seemed like an easy lay-up against Heritage. But instead, VanSickle tossed the ball up in the air as Belibi came flying in for a stunning one-handed alley-oop — a first in girls’ high school history, USA TODAY High School Sports reported.
Also according to USA TODAY High School Sports, Belibi has been practicing this move for a while, and clearly, she’s perfected the move.
And her one-handed dunking has become famous, recently making this incredible play in Decemeber when she finished with a career-high 32 points, according to The Sentinel newspaper in Aurora.
When Belibi made history with her first in-game dunk, she hadn’t even been playing basketball for a year and a half, and at the time of espnW’s 2017 profile on her, she had a 6-8 wingspan and an estimated vertical leap of 30 inches. She can also palm a men’s basketball.
“It was amazing,” said Belibi, who grew up playing tennis and took up basketball less than 16 months ago. “I’ve tried dunking in practice but never in a game. To do it in a game and get it on film to show the world was a great opportunity.”

Fran Belibi throws down first alley-oop dunk in girls HS basketball history

Logan Newman, usatodayhss.com, January 12, 2019

We’ve seen Regis Jesuit (Aurora, Colo.) basketball sensation Fran Belibi throw down an alley-oop dunk in Team USA Basketball practice.
But in a live game? Different story.
This was the first in-game alley-oop dunk in high school girls basketball history, according to the team’s Twitter account.
It came just three days after Belibi nearly flushed one down but couldn’t quite finish.
On Saturday, point guard Avery Vansickle received a pass in transition with nobody in front of her. Instead of laying the ball in, she lofted an underhand pass in the air to Belibi, who was roaring into the lane behind her.
The 6-foot-1 Stanford commit leapt, grabbed the pass with one hand and put down the first alley-oop in girls high school basketball history.
The crowd got loud and, under the basket, the cheerleaders stared in awe. One girl’s mouth fell open as she looked on in disbelief.
Belibi has created racket on social media and in basketball circles with her extraordinary dunking ability.
It’s no longer rare to see her dunk in-game, but completing an alley-oop is a new one.
As a junior, Belibi averaged 15.7 points, 11.6 rebounds, 2.6 steals and 3.2 blocks per game.
She’s maintained strong rebounding and steal averages but picked up her scoring as a senior, averaging 22.8 points.
Belibi has helped Regis Jesuit jump to a 10-0 record entering Saturday. The Raiders are No. 10 in the Super 25.

She’s committed to join Stanford’s terrifying 2019 recruiting class made up of herself and three other five-star athletes, including No. 1 prospect Haley Jones.