Arizona women’s basketball was already facing a short bench. The Wildcats will now go into the 2023-24 season with 11 players on the roster and only 10 available after transfer Fanta Gassama left the program.
Gassama is no longer listed on the Arizona roster and was not featured in the program’s preseason pictures taken earlier this week.
She was supposed to help shore up the frontcourt. Now, Arizona is down two players after Gassama’s departure and the season-ending injury to freshman Montaya Dew.
Gassama was likely to be depth on a team that features returning starter Esmery Martinez, returning reserve Maya Nnaji, highly ranked recruit Breya Cunningham, and veteran transfer Isis Beh. When she first arrived, head coach Adia Barnes said that Gassama was “raw” and would need development.
Regardless of what development Gassama might have needed, she did provide insurance on a team that ran into problems in the frontcourt last year. Most teams that gave the Wildcats problems had a great deal of length.
Gassama came to Tucson from South Georgia Technical College where she averaged 13.3 points and 13.1 rebounds per game as a sophomore. After completing her juco career with a 33-2 record and appearance on the NJCAA Division I Women’s basketball All-Tournament team last season, she originally committed to Cincinnati. A coaching change with the Bearcats reopened her recruitment.
The Wildcats have Pac-12 Media Day on Tuesday, Oct. 10. They will open their season with an exhibition against Western New Mexico on Wednesday, Oct. 25.