CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WFXR) — There’s only two active Division I basketball players who have Olympic experience. One is Nebraska’s Keisei Tominaga, who played 3X3 basketball for Japan at the Tokyo Summer Games. The other is University of Virginia’s Francisco Caffaro.
The junior center got the chance of a lifetime to play for Argentina at the Summer Games last year. And while he didn’t get much playing time, Caffaro did learn a lot from the experience of playing on the world stage.
“When you see the high intensity of play when you’re in the Olympics, when you’re practicing. I think that was good for him,” head coach Tony Bennett said.
After being with the national team, Caffaro learned about portion control and gained better eating habits.
“He came back and he lost a lot of weight. Just being a little lighter. A little more endurance. A little more fit. Obviously some of the NBA players that he got to go against in practice and the tricks of the trade and understanding how hard he got to play,” Bennett said.
And it’s translated to recent success for UVA. Caffaro earned a spot in the starting lineup against Wake Forest after a career-high performance against Virginia Tech last week when he scored 16 points to go along with nine rebounds.
“Watching more of what he eats (…) I think that’s helped him move better,” Bennett said. “More mobility more energy and just continuing to work.”