Frankie Policelli: Hidden Gem From Upstate NY Shines at LuHi

Photo courtesy of Long Island Lutheran Basketball.

By David Cordova

This season, Long Island Lutheran has been one of the most elite teams in the area and has been one of the best teams in the country. The Crusaders are now 16-2 and have had a strong and very tough schedule that they have done well in.

Also, contributing to their torrid start is the fact that they have at least seven Division I players on their roster at the present moment. One of them is a newcomer that has been a steal and has plenty of skills.

Enter the name Frankie Policelli. The 6-foot-8 forward has a lot of versatility, can shoot, post up smaller defenders, run the floor well and also throw down powerful dunks when going to the rim.

Policelli tries to power his way into the lane. (Photo courtesy of Zed Key, Sr.)

When asked what motivates him to be successful in the game of basketball, he replied, “Probably my parents, because they’ve always taught me to work hard to get what I want. And I eventually want to make it to the highest level possible.”

Policelli hails from New Hartford, a town in upstate New York, which is a suburban area just outside of Utica and a place that is an hour away from Syracuse. When asked what it’s like being from upstate and also about the basketball climate over there, he replied, “It’s not really serious. There’s like some players like me who are serious about it. Other than that, it was another sport to play in the season. So it’s not as intense as down here [New York metropolitan area]. When I moved down here, everything changed for me.

Policelli shoots a jumper from the key. (Photo courtesy of Zed Key, Sr.)

He started out his high school days at New Hartford High School, where the student population was 653 students. Policelli was a three-year starter and scored 979 total points during his time there. As a freshman, he averaged 13.5 points per game, then as a sophomore he averaged 20.3 points per game. And finally, as a junior, he delievered 26.9 points per game.

Outside of school, Policelli earned an invite to the prestigious Pangos All-American Camp in California and then made the Cream of the Crop Game, which is the all-star game for the standouts in the camp.

Policelli goes up for a layup. (Photo courtesy of Visions by Jeff/Jeffrey Armstrong)

On the AAU circuit, he played for the New York Jayhawks, a team that rose from the Silver Division to the Gold Division last summer on the Adidas Gauntlet circuit. He was one of the mainstays for the program, as he helped lead them to a deep run in the Adidas Summer Championships in Las Vegas in July and also in other events.

When asked what the Jayhawks mean to him, he replied, “It means everything, you know, a lot of the reason I’m here is because of Coach Jay [David]. He put me on a stage to showcase my abilities and I do my best to capitalize on that.”

Fast forward to the present day, with him being at a more established program such as Long Island Lutheran, he is reaping the benefits of the transfer, as he is now being seen by more college coaches. Right now, he has offers from schools such as Manhattan, Towson, St. Bonaventure’s, VCU, UMass, St. Joseph’s, Rhode Island, Old Dominion, Tulane, Washington, George Washington, Dayton, Texas Tech and Cincinnati.

When asked about how he feels about the move to Long Island Lutheran, he replied, “The basketball and the academics are good, it’s like a family feel every time you come around them.”

Policelli with the finger roll. (Photo courtesy 

Things are going good for Policelli, as the Crusaders are winning and getting ready for the New York State Federation Tournament. As for his recruitment, he plans to take his visits in the spring. There is also one thing he plans to be in the future, “Eventually, I want to be able to get to play like, a shooting guard, so I gotta improve my handles. I want to play college basketball and be successful at whatever school I go to and win a national championship.”


Highlights of Frankie Policelli:

Courtesy of Next Best Basketball.

Courtesy of YoungHoopGodz.

Courtesy of CM Video.

Courtesy of

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