Alan Dell

Former Palmetto star likely headed to USF

When Shedrick Haynes transferred out of then Manatee Community College after the 2008-09 basketball season, his dream was to come back home and play in the Big East Conference.

It appears the former Palmetto High standout is about to realize that goal. He has verbally committed to South Florida and expects to sign with the Bulls next month.

Haynes has totally transformed himself as a basketball player; He always had the hops and athleticism, but now he has added some deadly long-range shooting to his arsenal.

Haynes transferred to Lackawanna, a junior college in Scranton, Pa., where he refined his shooting skills under head coach Mike Netti.

The six-foot combo guard known for his extraordinary leaping ability, averaged 18.5 points a game and filled up the stat sheet for the Falcons, who finished the season 20-10. Haynes knocked down 87 treys while shooting 42 percent from beyond the arc.

The former Palmetto quarterback also led the Falcons in assists, steals and free throw percentage (75 percent) and shot 42 percent overall from the field.

He received offers from LaSalle, Houston, Western Kentucky and Oklahoma. But Haynes has always had USF as his No.1 destination. The Bulls will graduate two starting guards and could lose a third if Dominique Jones comes out for the NBA draft.

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Brian Alexander led the University of Maine at Machias in assists and steals this past season. The point guard is one of three Southeast High players on the team that is coached by Brac Brady, former head coach at MCC.

Alexander ranked second nationally in NAIA Division II averaging 6.58 assists a game and had 73 steals in 26 games. His high school teammates who played a reserve role this past season for the Clippers were Mike Vazqueznnn

Manatee High girls basketball career scoring leader Megan Dzikas didn’t suffer any sophomore jinx in her second season at Florida Southern.

She was the third leading scorer for the Lady Moccasins (14.2 ppg), led them in assists with 112, tied for the team lead in steals (46) and was tops at the free throw line (84 percent). The 5-9 guard was an honorable mention selection on the All Sunshine State Conference women’s team. She was the SSC Freshman of the Year in 2008-09.

Four former Manatee County female basketball players have completed or are in their final year of college competition on the hardwood — Sharielle Smith (Florida), Jessica Magley (Western Kentucky), Kristen Fulmer (Lenoir-Rhyne) and Janine Ward (Newberry).

Smith, who played two years at Southeast before transferring to the Pendleton School, led the Gators on the boards (6.4 rpg) and averaged 8.7 ppg. She set the program’s single-season free throw percentage record as a junior (88.7) and graduates as the career free throw percentage leader at 82.4 percent (192-of-233),

Magley was the career leading scorer at Bradenton Christian, and Fulmer is the career leader at Lakewood Ranch. Ward played at Southeast.

Magley, Manatee County’s girls career scoring leader, started 16 of 30 games. She could have some games remaining with WKU expected to get a postseason bid. The season is over for the other three, though Fulmer does compete in track and field.

Braden River’s Heather Mirabella played her first season of college basketball, where she was a backup guard at Webber International, which finished 12-14.

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