The Franklin & Marshall scholar-athlete profile features a Diplomat who personifies what it means to be an NCAA student-athlete. The F&M campus is filled with dedicated, passionate, and talented student-athletes who have interesting stories to tell – and it's our goal to let those stories be heard. To be chosen as a scholar-athlete of the month, F&M student-athletes must demonstrate academic excellence, leadership, and community service, or have a noteworthy story that stretches beyond the realm of athletic competition.
To view previous scholar-athletes, click here.
When Brandon Federici was a highly recruited high-school senior, he decided to take a year in prep school before attending college.
His grades were outstanding, but he wanted a year to grow and get stronger in preparation for college basketball.
This proved to be the right move for the 6-foot-4 guard—and for the Franklin & Marshall College men's basketball program. His post-grad year at The Lawrenceville (N.J.) School enabled him to work on his game and to make the right decision about which school to attend out of the scores that were recruiting him.
"In high school, I had been committed to MIT but after that, I looked a Princeton, Columbia, Dartmouth, and smaller schools like Johns Hopkins and Williams," said Federici, a native of Morganville, N.J., who was scholar-athlete of the year at his Colts Neck High School.
"But I received a lot of letters of interest from F&M. Many were personal and hand-written. As I started to make my decision, I thought it would be a great program for me, and an honor to play for one of the winningest coaches in college basketball."
Federici produced perhaps the greatest offensive career in the Diplomats' history. He broke the school and Centennial Conference (CC) records in scoring with 2,072 career points. In his senior season, he led the CC with a 19.3 points per game average and was ninth in steals per game at 1.4. He scored 20 points or more in 14 games and hit a season-high 32 against Misericordia on Nov. 15. He reached double-digits in 28 games.
Brandon made numerous Division III All-America teams and was named Centennial Conference Player of the Year for 2017-18. Throughout his four-year career, he was named to the Centennial Conference First Team each year, joining Georgio Milligan '12 as the only two players in the history of the Conference to accomplish that feat.
He led the Diplomats to four winning seasons. In his senior year, the squad was 22-7 and made the NCAA Division III Sweet 16, where F&M's splendid season came to a close with a tough 72-62 loss on the road to eventual Final Four participant Ramapo College.
Coach Glenn Robinson, who has coached the Diplomats for more than four decades, said Federici was one of the best.
"Brandon will be mentioned with the most prolific offensive players to ever wear the blue and white," said Robinson. "What gives me great pleasure is that he became a player we wanted on the floor whether we were on offense or defense.
"We can usually tell when a high school player is going to be good, but I don't think you know he is going to be great," added Robinson, who credits assistant coach Nick Nichay as a driving force in Federici's recruitment to F&M.
"To be great, a player must improve every year and measuring that drive is almost impossible. Brandon exceeded our expectations," said Robinson. "How can anyone, even coaches with as much experience as we have, predict someone will score more than 2,000 points and break the school and conference records?"
Federici's academic achievements were just as impressive.
An international business and Italian double major, he was the Centennial Scholar-Athlete of the year twice, a CoSIDA Academic All-American on two occasions, and a finalist after both his junior and senior years for the national Jostens Trophy, a prestigious honor reserved for the top student-athlete in the country for small schools.
Federici maintained a 3.71 academic average and was named a member of Phi Beta Kappa his senior year. He was also chosen for the Benjamin Franklin Society, whose members are selected for their high performance in the classroom and on campus.
His off-court activities included participation in an investment club and his enthusiastic leadership of the Italian Club. He is of Italian heritage on his father's side, and he will use that connection as he attempts to extend his remarkable basketball career; he is applying for Italian citizenship, which is possible for those with close family ties to the old country. He would hold dual citizenship.
"I would like to play overseas, and many leagues only permit two Americans," said Federici. "If I were seen as a player with Italian standing it could help my chances of making a team."
In support of Federici's efforts to extend his playing career, Robinson had an opportunity to relive moments from the prolific scorer's time at F&M.
"We prepared a highlight video but had trouble limiting it to just 10 minutes," said Robinson. "He had so many terrific shots, uses of screens, uses of the dribble hand-off, passes and moving without the ball that we had to cut great plays to make room for really great plays."
Federici is the son of Bob, a partner in a wealth-management firm, and Michele, a human resources director at an energy company. He has two younger brothers. Among his great satisfactions at F&M, he said, were choosing an academic regimen that permitted him to pursue a career in international business and his many interactions with those around campus.
"I got to know some of the trustees, President (Daniel) Porterfield and many professors," said Federici.
He said his time on the court will be remembered with great appreciation.
"I never thought about the number of points I scored, and in my last couple seasons, I let the game come to me," Federici said. "If I was being double or triple-teamed, it meant someone else was open."
Despite amassing accolades and awards, collecting records and surpassing milestones, rewriting the program and conference record books, Federici is quick to look beyond himself and give credit to those who helped him along the way.
"I couldn't have had my career here without great teammates, who passed, set screens, and played tough defense."