Upon the start of the spring signing period for basketball on Wednesday, USF women’s basketball head coach Jose Fernandez and staff announced the signing of three-star Nashville Brentwood Academy combo guard Sydni Harvey, three-star Bealeton, Virginia Liberty shooting guard Makaela Kestner, and Reyer Venezia SPA’s Elisa Pinzan to their 2018 signing class.
The trio joins early signee Iris Tsafara out of Athens, Greece as part of the herd of incoming Bulls.
“The class as a whole fits our needs,” Fernandez said on Wednesday. “These are high character kids. They’re excellent student-athletes that are going to represent our program and the University of South Florida in an unbelievable way.”
Listed at 5’10’’, Harvey finished her career as one of the most decorated players in recent memory in the state of Tennessee.
Finishing with over 2,000 points for her career at Brentwood Academy, the three-star prospect from Nashville led her team to four TSSAA Division II-AA state titles and was named Miss Basketball for her class during her junior and senior seasons.
Harvey averaged 17.2 points per game this past winter, culminating with a 24 point performance in the Lady Eagles’ 62-47 win over rival Ensworth in the championship game.
She originally committed to USF on February 7.
The 5’11’’ shooting guard out of Liberty High School in Bealeton, Virginia, Kestner comes to USF after wrapping up a prep career in which she finished as the all-time leading scorer in Faquier County history, boys or girls.
The three-star guard was originally verbally committed to North Carolina before decommitting this past winter and ultimately deciding to take her talents to Tampa. She also held offers from Auburn, East Carolina, and home-state Virginia Tech.
Blessed to have found my new home for the next four years at the University of South Florida! pic.twitter.com/VIACDMCgAW— Makaela kestner (@MakaelaKestner) January 9, 2018
"This young lady has played for European Championships and World Championships. She's very familiar with our style of play and also players on our team."@CoachJFernandez can't wait to bring Elisa Pinzan's international experience to Tampa! pic.twitter.com/8c7rdVP40H— USF W. Basketball (@USFWBB) April 12, 2018
Rated a five-star recruit by Blue Star Europe and Passion Hoops, the 5’8” native of Murano, Italy will become the eighth European born player on the Bulls’ roster for the 2018-19 season.
The point guard represented Italy at the under-18 European Championships (averaging eight points, 2.9 rebounds, two assists, and two steals) and the under-19 World Cup (averaging six points and four assists) this past summer.
She will be playing for the under-20 Italian team this summer before arriving to USF.
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