Wednesday, April 10, 2002

Michelle Munoz leaving Tennessee

Wants to play closer to home

By Neil Schmidt
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Michelle Munoz, a two-time Ohio basketball player of the year at Mason High, is coming back to her home state. The University of Tennessee freshman forward asked for and was granted her release Tuesday, and her father, Anthony, said she wants to transfer to a school in Ohio.

As a freshman, Michelle Munoz played a key role off the bench for Tennessee.
(AP photo)
| ZOOM |
        Asked if his daughter was considering Xavier or Cincinnati, Munoz said he didn't know.

        “She hasn't mentioned any specific schools,” he said. “That's probably something we'd like to sit down and talk to her about. All she said is she wants to come play closer to home.”

        He said he drove to Knoxville on Monday and was with his daughter Tuesday when she told UT's coaches.

        “They hated to see her leave, but they were very kind and wished her well,” Munoz said.

        Munoz said his daughter expressed no dissatisfaction with the Lady Vols program. She played in 27 of 34 games, averaging 3.7 points in 9.6 minutes, and her 58.1 percent shooting (36-of-62) led the team. She either didn't play or didn't score in 15 of UT's first 26 games, but then she both played and scored in nine straight games, totaling six or more points four times in a seven-game stretch.

        Munoz will sit out next season under transfer rules.

        Munoz was a three-time Nike All-American at Mason, and her Comets jersey hangs in the national Women's Basketball Hall of Fame — which is in Knoxville. Mason won the 2000 Ohio Division I title and finished that season rated No.2 nationally by USA Today.


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