In February, Gianna Messina A’07 was inducted into the Academy of the Holy Names Athletics Hall of Fame at the Winter Sports Banquet. An all-around athlete, Messina lettered in softball and track and field, but her athletic talents were best displayed on the basketball court.
Accolades for Messina were plentiful: she was two-time first team all-state, a McDonalds All-American honorable mention, 3A Player of the Year, two-time “Tampa Tribune” and “St. Petersburg Times”Hillsborough County Player of the Year, and she was named Most Valuable Player of the North vs. South FACA All-Star game her senior year.She led Hillsborough County in scoring, averaging 24 points a game. A member of the 2,000 Point Club, Messina scored 2,126 career points—the third highest in the history of the county.
At the Academy, Messina was the basketball team captain for three years, during which time the team made two state final-four runs. Voted Most Athletic by her classmates, she was also a member of Beta Club, National Honor Society, President’s Honor Roll and vice president of Golden Girls.
Messina matriculated to USF on an athletic scholarship where she played in 29 games for the Bulls and had a season-high 15 points against North Florida. Transferring to University of Tampa her sophomore year, she started all 32 games, a school record for starts in a season. Messina was named three-time first-team all-SSC, SSC Tournament Most Outstanding Player, SSC Player of the Week, three-time SSC Commissioner’s Honor Roll and D-II ADA Academic Achievement Award winner. She is ranked among the top 10 in six different statistical categories for individual career records in UT’s history and is ranked fourth in the nation for 3-point field goal percentage (45%).
After graduating from UT with an accounting degree, Messina obtained her CPA and is currently an assurance manager with Price Waterhouse Cooper (PwC). In her spare time, she is the assistant basketball coach for Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Fla.
During her acceptance speech, Messina acknowledged her twin sister Catriana, who also played on the Academy basketball team. “To Catri. This induction is something that I truly feel is representative of us both. All the blood, sweat and tears we experienced together. I wouldn’t have had the success I had without having you as my teammate. It was special to share our high school and college careers together.”