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Lion latches onto school’s second scholarship

VCA’s Frank brings defense, intensity to Simpson University
By: Kayla Dubchansky, Press Tribune Correspondent
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Rob Frank accomplished something at Valley Christian Academy that only one other student before him had done – he got a scholarship to play college basketball.

“It feels amazing,” Frank said. “I didn’t really think I’d be able to do it. God blessed me and has given me the opportunity to play college basketball.”

The 6-foot-4, 18-year-old is just the second person in the history of the VCA basketball program to earn a scholarship. In the fall, he will attend Simpson University in Redding.

“I’d love to be playing after college,” Frank said. “But my focus is I want to be a firefighter. Just being able to play basketball and go to school works out amazingly.”

Frank, who averaged 10.4 points per game during his senior season, chose Simpson for the many benefits it provides him. He has a lot of relatives and friends in the area and will be living with his grandmother. Frank will spend some time in the classroom with his uncle, a professor at Shasta College.

“I wanted a new beginning,” Frank said. “I wanted to be able to move and venture out on my own. (Firefighting) is something I’ve wanted to do since I was little. It seems likes a really cool job to me. My uncle is a fire marshal in Redding. A lot of my friends’ parents are firefighters.”

The talented basketball player has a lot on his plate coming up. He’ll attend Simpson where he will major in business and play basketball. He will also take night classes at Shasta College for fire services.

“I have relatives up there,” Frank said. “One of my cousins is a senior there next year. Love the campus. It’s a Christian school. I can live with my family up there and everything works out perfectly.”

Most things Frank has done up until now have been with the end goal of being a firefighter in mind.

“Basketball has taught me leadership,” Frank said. “Following directions, taking criticism, work as a team and that will help me a lot in firefighting.”

Frank offered agility for the Lions this season and has a great wingspan according to his high school coach, Brad Gunter. Frank hit for 46 percent of his field goals and averaged about four steals a game.

“He brought length,” Gunter said. “From a basketball coach’s stand point he’s 6-foot-4 ½ inch guard with the wing span of a seven-footer. Defensively he brought length in the passing lanes. His ability to steal the ball was unbelievable because of his wingspan. He also took the heat off of Ryan Cordell to be honest. They shared wings. If you overloaded on Ryan, Rob killed you from the three-point line.”

Gunter said Frank will bring a lot of ability to his new team at Simpson.

“(One thing he brings is) his ability to score,” Gunter said. “His defensive presence was huge for us this year and also his competitiveness and desire to win. He shut down or held in check some top players. His physical attributes really helped us.”

The hardest part for Frank about moving to Redding will be being away from his friends and immediate family. He has four sisters, one older and three younger that he will have a tough time being away from.

“It’s going to be hard. I’m going to miss them a lot,” Frank said. “I’ve grown close with my sister Heather. This was her sophomore year and we’ve been close. It’s going to be really, really hard.”

Frank will be spending his last few months in this area looking for a job, playing basketball as much as he can and getting in quality time with his friends and family before the move.

FYI:

Rob Frank

6-foot-4 senior guard

Valley Christian Academy

2009-10 by the numbers – 10.4 points, 4.3 steals, 3.1 assists per game