Player Profile: Pierfrancesco Oliva

Earlier this week, Hawk Hill Hardwood profiled freshmen Lamarr Kimble and Chris Clover. The third member of the well-regarded freshman class is Italian forward Pierfrancesco Oliva. Learn more about the skilled Bergen Catholic (NJ) grad inside.

Pierfrancesco Oliva is a 6'8, 207-pound freshman from Taranto, Italy. Oliva spent the last two years of high school in the United States, at Bergen Catholic (NJ). As a senior at Bergen Catholic, Oliva earned All-State Third Team honors. That team, named by, had Oliva alongside the likes of current Penn freshman Jake Silpe and Seton Hall-bound shooting guard Myles Powell.

In naming him to the All-State team, the writers at had this to say about Oliva: 'A rare breed at the forward position with a combination of rebounding, passing, and shooting ability that landed him a spot playing for Saint Joseph's next season. The key cog for the Bergen County Jamboree champions with a very high basketball IQ.'

'Checco' averaged just under 16 points per game last year at Bergen Catholic, where he led them to an 18-7 record and a Bergen County Jamboree title.

St. Joe's assistant coach Dave Duda spoke with Hawk Hill Hardwood about his 6'8 freshman forward. "He's a skilled front court guy," Duda started. "Brings multiple offensive attributes to the team." That versatility should earn him minutes off the bat for the Hawks. Senior Isaiah Miles will likely be your day one starter at the power forward position. Oliva, however, due to his versatility and creativity, could be the first forward off the bench at that position.

Coach Duda went on about Checco. "He must focus now on rebounding the ball versus a bigger opponent. He helps the offense be much more versatile with what he is able to do. Has a bright future."

Isaiah Miles, Papa Ndao, and Aaron Brown are all seniors this season. All three play in the front court. As a result, Oliva may get fewer minutes this year than he normally would on Hawk Hill. However, his court vision and ability to operate the offense out of the high post gives him a skill set different than the other forwards. Along with redshirt freshman Markell Lodge, Oliva is a part of a youth movement on the Hawks in the front court.

Pierfrancesco Oliva flew a bit under the radar heading into his senior season at Bergen Catholic. He committed to the Hawks and signed early. Had he played things out, he would have seen his recruiting stock soar during the season. Since he didn't, the Hawks were able to lock him up in November heading into his senior season. Coach Duda believes that he has a bright future ahead, and watching him on the court leaves little doubt that he indeed does.

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