Not that preferred walk-on commitments are ever expected, but when 2022 SG Ross Candelino (Ponte Vedra, Fla.) announced on Twitter that he had accepted an offer to attend Wisconsin it really came out of the blue. While Candelino had been communicating with UW via email “here and there” for a while he mentioned to B5Q via Twitter direct message that “it all happened so fast” after he went up and visited campus.
Candelino had an offer from American University, according to his Twitter account, but chose the opportunity to walk-on in Madison instead. “What drew me to the school was the coaching staff and the rich winning history and the way it was a family. Everyone says they are a family but Wisconsin was the first place I could truly tell with confidence it was a family,” Candelino told us.
All glory goes to God! Blessed and excited to announce that I will be continuing my academic and athletic career at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Thank you to all my family, friends, coaches and teammates that have helped me along the way. Ready to work! @BadgerMBB pic.twitter.com/BVbx8kiReQ— Ross Candelino (@RCandelino) May 15, 2022
A 6-foot-5 wing out of Ponte Vedra High School, there isn’t a whole lot of information on Candelino out there. Here is what we do know: Candelino is left-handed, his high school is nicknamed the Sharks which is super cool and he starts off his senior highlight tape by taking a charge. He also spend the first three years of high school playing for Bishop Kenny High School in Jacksonville, Fla. before moving to PVHS.
According to MaxPreps, he averaged 14.2 points, 3.7 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 1.8 steals per game last year for the Sharks.
Candelino helped lead Ponte Vedra to the 6A State Final, which they lost narrowly to Martin County, but he was named to the all-tournament team and was one of the best players on the best team in PVHS history. He mentioned to us that he considers his shooting ability and his defensive presence “whether it be from help-side or on ball my communication as a leader” as major strengths on the court.
While he has no direct ties to the state of Wisconsin, Candelino’s dad Anthony did play point guard at Marquette in the late 1980s. Anthony was also a minor league baseball player, playing in the Expos and Mets organizations.
The Badgers now have two walk-ons coming in with the ‘22 class as Candelino joins Hartland standout Luke Haertle. Wisconsin will still be searching for a couple more scholarship players to fill out their roster for next season via the transfer portal.