CANTON, Mo. — Former Culver-Stockton College guard Brice Fantazia has signed a contract to play professional basketball for FC Porto Ferpinta in Porto, Portugal. Porto Ferpinta plays in the Portuguese Basketball League. It consists of 10 teams and was founded in 1932.
“Porto is one of the top teams in the world and is among the wealthiest teams in Portugal,” said Fantazia. “It is very americanized and they have a brand new arena.”
Besides a monthly salary, Fantazia will have all expenses paid for including a furnished apartment, food and the use of a car. His health care coverage will also be paid for.
Fantazia is expected to back up veteran point guard João Figueiredo on the club team and will be the heir apparent when Figueiredo retires. In addition, Fantazia will be given the opportunity to replace Figueiredo on the Portugal national team once dual citizenship paperwork clears.
"It has been a dream come true (to play professionally), and all of my hard work has paid off,” said Fantazia. “I would like to thank Coach (John) Windham and my teammates for helping me achieve this goal.”
“Brice has done an outstanding job in improving his game in the one year that we had time to work together,” said Windham. “He has a work ethic second to none and he is very goal driven. He sets his sights on something, and he works hard to accomplish it.”
Fantazia was a Heart of America Athletic Conference second team selection after his senior year in 2008-09. He was second in the league in assists, averaging 5.2 per game, and he was seventh in scoring, recording 16.1 points per game. He was also named the HAAC Player of the Week in the final week of the 2008-09 slate after averaging 23 points and eight assists against the top two teams in the league, Central Methodist University (Mo.) and MidAmerica Nazarene University (Kan.).
“Brice improved tremendously from his first to his second year,” said Windham. “Brice has a gift of being able to get to the basket to score or to make a perfect pass to an open teammate.”
In two seasons at Culver-Stockton, after transferring from North Central Junior College in Trenton, Mo., Fantazia averaged 13 points, 3.9 rebounds and 3.9 assists in 58 games. He scored a career-high 35 points in his final game against NAIA national semifinalist and conference champion MidAmerica Nazarene on February 28.