Frankie Graziano | Connecticut Public Radio
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Frankie Graziano

If you read any of Frankie Graziano’s previous biographies, they’d be all about his passion for sports. But times change – and he’s a family man now.

Part of the reason for the biographical “tone-change” is a slight deviation in Frankie’s career path. In 2016, he moved over to news from the sports world. He became a Connecticut Public reporter. And that’s currently where he works as a breaking news reporter.

He’s been on-the-scene to get state residents the latest available information on major local happenings over the past four years – like the vintage plane crash at Bradley International Airport in 2019 and the recent landmark police accountability legislation that passed through the state capitol.

Other highlights from his time at Connecticut Public include some long-term storytelling he was able to do after Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico in 2017, which led thousands of evacuees from the island to escape to Connecticut.

Frankie also played a crucial role in the  station’s continuing coverage of a police shooting in Wethersfield. Anthony Jose Vega Cruz, 18, died two days after being shot by former Wethersfield police officer Layau Eulizier Jr. on April 20, 2019. Much of this work went into Collision Course, a 2020 New England Emmy award-winning documentary produced by Vanessa de la Torre.  You can also hear Frankie’s national stories on NPR -- including one that was produced out of his basement about sports in the age of COVID-19.

Prior to going to work for Connecticut Public, Frankie produced over 1,200 hours of sports content for Connecticut Public Television and CPTV Sports. There, he worked to showcase thousands of local student-athletes -- whether it be during state championship events broadcast live on television or if they’d been honored with the network’s statewide UChoose Student-Athlete of the Week. He also put together a “Tip-Off Classic” featuring Connecticut’s top boys and girls high school basketball squads.

Frankie graduated from the University of Connecticut in 2011 with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism and History. While in school, he created a program on UConn’s student television station. He also interned at WFSB Eyewitness News Ch. 3. He covered collegiate baseball in Torrington during the summer.

Frankie is the husband of Colleen Graziano, APRN. He’s also “Daddy” to Charlie and Annie. They live in Glastonbury; Frankie (born Francesco Graziano Jr.) is originally from Torrington. His parents are from Italia: his mother Rosa Maria emigrated to America in 1967 and his father Francesco Sr. made his move to the United States shortly after marrying “Rosie” in 1975.

Frankie Graziano / WNPR

Most Connecticut schools have access to a track when they practice. The Academy of Science and Innovation, a CREC magnet school in New Britain, doesn’t.

Frankie Graziano / WNPR

It was 1st-and-10 from the Capital Prep 39-yard line. There were under four minutes left in the opening quarter of a 2014 Connecticut High School Football championship game. North Branford had the ball, up 7-6.

Frankie Graziano / WNPR

Ed Mulrenan is a season-ticket holder for the Elm City Express, and he was the first person to show up for the inaugural game between Connecticut’s newest pro soccer teams.

Frankie Graziano / WNPR

Tatyana McFadden was born with a hole in her spine that forced the spinal column to poke out of her back, leaving her paralyzed from the waist down. For the first three weeks of Tatyana’s life, she received no medical care for her spina bifida. But she survived, and was eventually adopted from the orphanage where she lived in St. Petersburg, Russia.

Frankie Graziano / WNPR

Hami Kara is a goalkeeper who bounced around the soccer world after being an all-New Englander at Wethersfield High School. He played at the University of Pittsburgh, continued his career in Turkey, and even landed on a Major League Soccer roster back in 2013.

Kevin Kuhl / CPBN

Mike Cowell tore his elbow ligament back when he pitched for Shelton High School. The pain isn’t sharp, he said, but it’s persistent.

But what caused it?  

Adwriter / Flickr

The Connecticut Sun basketball team is two weeks away from opening its 15th WNBA season, and its management is hoping for a better year.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

The Yard Goats completed their first home stand in Hartford with their first home win at Dunkin’ Donuts Park Thursday. They beat Harrisburg 1-0. Hartford failed in its previous five chances to win at home.

Frankie Graziano / WNPR

March Madness is coming back to Hartford’s XL Center for the first time since 1998. The NCAA announced Tuesday that first and second round games will be played in the capital in 2019.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

After 65 years, professional baseball made its return to Hartford Thursday, as the Yard Goats hosted -- and lost to -- the New Hampshire Fisher Cats.

Wasted Time R / Wikimedia Commons

The Hartford Yard Goats' home opener on April 13 coincides with a day that some of the city's biggest sports fans will never forget.

Frankie Graziano / WNPR

The Hartford Yard Goats weren’t playing, but Tuesday night’s collegiate match-up between the University of Hartford and Quinnipiac University was still important for the minor league team’s staff as they get ready for opening day on Thursday. This was a dress rehearsal.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

Minor League Baseball was supposed to return to Hartford a year ago, but developers couldn’t complete the stadium on time. Now, with just days to go, Dunkin’ Donuts is pretty much finished, and it seems that only rain can stop the April 13 opener.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

The Yard Goats are scheduled to open play on April 13 at Dunkin’ Donuts Park in Hartford. But a lawsuit between the city and the ballpark’s former developers has caused problems in the run-up to opening day.

Sara Melikian / Flickr

Members of the U.S. Women’s Ice Hockey team threatened to sit out the 2017 IIHF World Championships over a labor dispute, but the team will now play in the event after agreeing to a four-year wage agreement with USA Hockey.

Michelle Jay / NWHL

The 2017 Women’s World Hockey Championships are later this month, and the U.S. team has won the last three titles. But its players may not even show up if they aren’t given what they are asking for: fair wages and support from USA Hockey.

The idea for an expansion soccer team in New Haven started two years ago over coffee in Brazil.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

For the second time in three years, the men’s American Athletic Conference basketball tournament was played at Hartford's XL Center. Next year, it returns to Orlando. But after that, it’s anybody's game.  

Frankie Graziano / WNPR

UConn men’s basketball team survived a conference tournament opening round match-up with South Florida on Thursday night in Hartford.

Frankie Graziano / WNPR

UConn women’s basketball won the American Athletic Conference championship on Monday night at Mohegan Sun, formally guaranteeing their return to the NCAA Tournament.

During the game, sophomore Katie Lou Samuelson set a new national record -- Samuelson finished 10 for 10 from the three-point line -- a new NCAA women’s basketball record for consecutive three-point field goals in a game. She scored a tournament-record 40 points as the Huskies won their fourth-straight AAC title.

Albert Yau / Flickr

On Thursday, Major League Baseball and the players association announced the elimination of the traditional four-pitch intentional walk. Instead of calling for pitches, managers could call for a "no-pitch" intentional walk, and the goal is to help speed up the game.

Lorenzo Cafaro / Pexels

Earlier this month, WNPR introduced you to three high school football players that made a binding commitment to play at the NCAA level on National Signing Day. This is also the month when soccer players make their decisions known.

Frankie Graziano / WNPR

UConn women’s basketball team extended its all-time NCAA record for consecutive wins to 100 in front of a sellout crowd of over 10,000 people in Storrs, Monday night. The top-ranked Huskies outlasted South Carolina, 66-55. 

Frankie Graziano / WNPR

State Representative Patricia Dillon wants to re-examine what it means to "work through an injury" when it comes to student athletes. 

Joe deSousa / Flickr

Hartford City FC, a professional soccer team in the National Premier Soccer League, will begin its inaugural season this May on the New Britain campus of Central Connecticut State University.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

For senior high school football players, National Signing Day is a big deal. It's the day they make a binding commitment to an NCAA program. And this week, WNPR was there as three Connecticut students made their choices known. 

Kris Krug "flickr.com/photos/kk/" / Flickr

Luge is a Swiss term for small coasting sled. If you watch a luge event on television, you’ll see that these athletes are moving faster than a coasting pace. 

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

The Yard Goats held an event today in downtown Hartford for season ticket holders. Team owner Josh Solomon was present for the second annual hot stove luncheon.

UConn beat South Florida 102-37 Tuesday night. That’s hardly breaking news considering the Huskies have done that all 21 times that they have faced off against the Bulls. The women are 66-0 against conference rivals since joining the American Athletic Conference back in 2013.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

For the first time in 11 years, national titles for cyclocross, a unique terrain-style cycling race, were presented in New England this past week. Saturday's winter storm that unloaded about seven inches of snow in the capital provided the perfect backdrop.

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