Messina, Mitryk headed to U. Tampa
USF freshman Gianna Messina, a two-time Hillsborough County Player of the Year at Academy of Holy Names, has been granted a release and will transfer to the University of Tampa, where she'll be reunited with her twin sister, Catriana.
"That's definitely the main reason I wanted to make a change," said Messina, a 5-foot-6 guard who started eight games at USF and averaged 4.8 points and 2.3 rebounds per game. "I'm very excited. There were ups and downs this season, but I have only good things to say about the coaches and players at USF."
Because UT is a Division II program, Messina will be eligible immediately and will have three years of eligibility with the Spartans; Catriana averaged 3.2 points as a freshman at UT. Another USF reserve, sophomore forward Caitlyn Mitryk, is transferring to UT, with two years of eligibility remaining.
"We get along real well, and I think both of us will do well (at Tampa)," Messina said.
INTERVIEW: USF coach Jose Fernandez, who has guided the Bulls to the postseaon five years in a row, will fly to Las Vegas on Tuesday to interview for the head coaching job at UNLV. Fernandez was one of 17 candidates to interview with UNLV officials in Tampa last week; the school has already held a campus interview with former UCLA coach Kathy Olivier, a UNLV graduate.
DICKSON BACK: Former USF guard Jessica Dickson, the Bulls' all-time leading scorer, has signed with the Atlanta Dream and hopes to make the roster of the WNBA expansion team. Dickson, who was with three WNBA teams in the preseason last season, has been playing professionally in Croatia.
The Dream has 13 players under contract already and can have as many as 18 by the time preseason camp opens next week, though they can only keep 13 on their regular-season roster.