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Mununga and Leverett to return for ‘super senior’ season

Forward Bethy Mununga (20) and center Shae Leverett (21) were the only two seniors on the roster for the Bulls last season. USF ATHLETICS PHOTO

USF women’s basketball stars, center Shae Leverett and forward Bethy Mununga, are returning to the team for a “super senior” season next year.

The announcement of their returns happened via Twitter on Friday when the @USFWBB account made two separate posts for each player. Leverett’s came first, quickly followed by Mununga’s a minute later.

Despite having already used up their normal eligibility, both players are allowed to come back due to the NCAA giving student-athletes an extra year of eligibility because of the impact COVID-19 has had on the college sports landscape.

Both Mununga and Leverett played a huge role in a historic 2021 season for the Bulls that saw them take home the program’s first ever conference regular-season and tournament title along with making it to the second round of the NCAA tournament.

Mununga was arguably the team’s most valuable player last season. In her second year with USF, she averaged 9.6 points and 12.9 rebounds per game, which went for third best in the country. She also received All-Conference first team honors for the AAC.

Leverett returns for her sixth year in Tampa due to her use of a redshirt season her freshman year. She started in all but one game this past season averaging 4.4 points and 6.8 rebounds per game. 

Although her offensive numbers don’t stand out, Leverett’s true impact was felt on the defensive end of the floor where she was usually charged with the responsibility of guarding the opposing team’s best post player on a night-to-night basis. 

Coach Jose Fernandez spoke of Mununga’s and Leverett’s importance to his team throughout the season, citing their leadership and effort as the catalyst of what drove the Bulls to unprecedented heights this past season.

Following the regular-season title-clinching game against UCF, Fernandez said if his two seniors returned to the program, then his team would once again be among the best in the country.

“If the best thing for [Leverett and Mununga] is to come back, we’re going to be really, really good,” Fernandez said. 

“We got a really, really good schedule planned nonconference-wise for next year. It’d be nice to chase it back to back, and going into the next season, if this team stays intact, when we come back we could be preseason top 10 in the country.”