Destiny Slocum

Former Maryland guard Destiny Slocum, center, has found a new home at Oregon State. Slocum, who averaged 11.5 points and six assists while being named the national freshman of the year, must sit out this season due to NCAA transfer rules.

Patrick Semansky, The Associated Press

There were times last season when Destiny Slocum found herself watching many different women’s college basketball games.

She started to take notice of the styles some of those teams played, as well as watching the coaches.

Slocum began to realize that, although she was having a standout freshman season at Maryland, something was missing.

Then it hit her: She was not in the place she was supposed to be.

Slocum continued to help her team to the Big Ten title and a trip to the Sweet 16 before falling to Oregon.

She was named the national freshman of the year after averaging 11.5 points and six assists per game as the Terrapins finished the season 32-3.

After the season, Slocum announced she would pursue options at another university.

“It was tough at first to know that what I thought was best for me was to move on,” said Slocum, who had originally committed to Washington before changing her mind and choosing Maryland.

Having watched so man games, Slocum had a good idea where she would like to end up — Oregon State.

“I’m not going to lie, I watched Oregon State play all year and was like, I want to play for that coach. I want to play with girls like that,” Slocum said during the team’s media day last week.

She has gotten her wish, but will have to wait a year before playing in a game due to NCAA transfer rules. She wil have three years eligibility remaining.

Slocum says Maryland is an “awesome program” and credits last year’s seniors for taking her under their wings and showing her the ropes.

“I would never take back my year at Maryland,” Slocum said. “I mean, I grew as a player (and) the exposure that school gave me was bigger than anything I could have asked for.

“I think my decision was just more than basketball and I’m around a place where I’m happy 24-7. These girls are like family to me, this coaching staff is like family to me, and so it was an easy decision in the end.”

With Maryland in the past, Slocum has found a new home in Corvallis  and she couldn’t be happier.

She feels almost like a freshman again, learning a new system, coaching staff and teammates.

“This is the perfect fit for me and I couldn’t ask for a better situation to be in,” she said. “Sitting out this year, yeah it’s going to be tough, but being around these people and this type of support system is going to be a greater impact on the type of character I’m going to have.

“So that’s my big thing this year is just to grow as a teammate and grow as a person and see a different perception of basketball as more than just a game.”

Having grown up watching Pac-12 basketball, Slocum knows exactly what she is getting herself into  great competition night in and night out.

“I’m in the best conference in the country,” she said. “If you talk about development, I’m going to develop every single game, every single day.

“There were some teams in the Big Ten where you’re like, this is more like a scrimmage because they’re not making me better.

“But that’s not how it’s going to be in the Pac-12. Every team is good, every team has something to bring every single night and so it’s going to be fun in that aspect. I’m excited for what I got myself into. It’s competition and it’s fun.”

1
0
0
0
8

Sports editor of the Corvallis Gazette-Times and Albany Democrat-Herald

Load comments