Broward News

Elephant in the Gym: In Weston, a Brazilian Giant Awaits U.S. Hoops Debut

For a teen-aged immigrant from Brazil, I'm sure it's mighty tough to acclimate to America, let alone a city with Weston's wide boulevards and tranquil pace. So maybe it's best that transfer rules prevented young Fabrecio de Melo from suiting up this past year for the Sagemont School basketball team. But one can imagine that for the school's hoops fans, it's not easy to be so patient.

Mind you, this is no clutz. This is a veritable man-child with size and agility:



With Melo's colossal size, limitless potential and mysterious provenance, his story reminds one of that classic piece of American sports cinema, Blue Chips, in which a coach played by Nick Nolte must cajole a character played by Shaquille O'Neal. Being approximately the same size as Shaq, Melo is now receiving same desperate, unflagging attention from  suitors like Jim Boeheim of Syracuse and Rick Pitino of Louisville. Duke's Mike Krzyzewski is also calling.

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Thomas Francis