Emerson College’s only independent, student-run newspaper since 1947

The Berkeley Beacon

Emerson College’s only independent, student-run newspaper since 1947

The Berkeley Beacon

Emerson College’s only independent, student-run newspaper since 1947

The Berkeley Beacon

Women’s basketball D1 transfer puts the ‘student’ back in student-athlete

Kayla Buck
Women’s basketball guard Bri Frongillo transferred to Emerson from Div. I Bryant University.

While it is becoming more common for Division 1 athletes to transfer between universities, it is unusual for a D1 athlete to transfer to a D3 school like Emerson. However, sophomore point guard Bri Frongillo has done just that. 

Before attending Emerson this year, Frongillo played basketball at Hopedale High School in Hopedale, Massachusetts and Bryant University in Smithfield, Rhode Island. At Hopedale, Frongillo played varsity basketball for five years, serving as team captain for three. As a four-time conference All-Star and a three-time Conference Player of the Year, it was to no one’s surprise that she committed to Bryant University, a D1 school, for basketball. 

So why did she give that up? 

Though Bryant University is a Division I school—as well as a good academic institution—it just wasn’t the right fit for Frongillo. When committing to Bryant, Frongillo took on a major in business. However, she soon realized that she was giving up her true passion for film solely for the sake of Div. I basketball. Thus, after her basketball season ended last year, Frongillo knew she would not be returning to the Bryant Bulldogs Women’s Basketball team.

“I didn’t have a good year at Bryant,” Frongillo said in an interview with the Beacon. “I didn’t have a good season, basketball or school wise, and I just didn’t love it.”

And so her transfer process began. Frongillo began looking for top film schools, and she ideally wanted somewhere a little closer to home in Massachusetts than Rhode Island. She stumbled upon Emerson College, which had the two things she loved: film and basketball.

“After last year, I reprioritized film, and I just wanted to have a less stressful time and have fun playing basketball,” Frongillo said. 

Though Emerson is a Div. III school, Frongillo actually played against Emerson women’s basketball last year while she was at Bryant. In this game, Frongillo achieved her Bryant career high points in a game, scoring 21 against the Lions. Bryant won that game 111-27. 

Emerson Head Coach Bill Gould remembered Frongillo from this game. However, he had no idea a few months later, he would be receiving a call from Frongillo’s father voicing her interest in transferring to Emerson and the basketball team. After she went through the transfer process, Coach Gould could not believe that the point guard from Bryant was coming to his team.

“We played Bryant and it wasn’t pretty,” Coach Gould said in an interview with the Beacon. “So I brought that up in the call with Bri. I was like ‘You remembered we played you, right? It didn’t go well.’”

Even though did remember the game, she still pursued the transfer, stating that she was not deterred by transferring to a D3 school. 

“Bryant is a D1 school, and that is like having a job,” Frongillo said. “I mainly went to Bryant just for basketball, so my main motivation for transferring was that I wanted to study film, and Emerson is one of the top schools for film.”

After playing basketball basically full-time at Bryant, Frongillo was ready for a change. She wanted to be somewhere she could be a student first, then an athlete. Though playing D1 was an accomplishment for her, she ultimately decided to put herself and her education first. 

Making the decision to transfer was the hard part. Now that Frongillo has been at Emerson for almost a full semester, she says it was definitely the right decision for her. 

“I love this team and we all get along really well,” Bri said. “As for classes, it is obviously a lot better to be studying something I actually am interested in.”

Though basketball has not been in-season for long—their first game was Nov. 8 at Suffolk University—Bri has already made her impact on the team. 

Coach Gould said he has seen her fitting in well on the court, but also at Emerson. 

“She is definitely an Emerson kid. She loves her major, she loves the kids. She just knew she was at the wrong school academically.” 

The Emerson women’s basketball team plays their next home game, their home opener, on Saturday, Nov. 11 against Colby-Sawyer College. 

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About the Contributor
Merritt Hughes
Merritt Hughes, Opinion Co-Editor

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