Although Destiny Slocum will have to sit out the 2017-18 women’s college basketball season per NCAA transfer rules, the former Mountain View High star doesn’t have any intention of letting her skills sit idle, too.
Slocum announced Monday she will transfer from Maryland to Oregon State. She said she chose the Beavers from a final three that also included UCLA and Arkansas.
She will have three years of eligibility remaining beginning with the 2018-19 season.
“To me, I think it’s just a great year to perspective grow — to grow as a player and as a person and develop,” Slocum said. “Only transfers really get a year to kind of step back and be like, ‘OK, this is a year where I don’t play in any games, but I just get better and I work on my game and develop.’
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“That’s how I’m looking at it as, to grow as a leader. I’m going to be new to this team, so I’m going to have to grow in relationships. I think it gives me a great opportunity to kind of just adapt to this team.”
Slocum made quite the impression in her first season of college ball.
She averaged 11.5 points and 6.0 assists with an assist-to-turnover ratio of 2.0 as the Terps won a Big Ten championship and advanced to the Sweet 16.
She was named the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association and Big Ten freshman of the year, setting a Maryland freshman record for assists with 204. She led the Big Ten in assists during conference play with 7.5 per game, tallying 112 assists with 48 turnovers in Big Ten action.
“I felt like I really didn’t fit at Maryland. I felt like their values on and off the floor didn’t align with mine,” Slocum said. “To find a place where I could do that and be happy about that and feel like I was connected in that way was really important to me.”
Slocum leaves the Terps for a Pac-12 program that was a No. 2 seed in this year’s NCAA Tournament. The Beavers reached the Sweet 16, finished 31-5 and were No. 8 in the final Associated Press poll of the season.
“I think it just felt like home, and it felt like the right fit,” Slocum said. “I felt like it had the feeling I was missing at Maryland, and one of the reasons I left was I didn’t have that feeling that I fit there and that pride feeling. But when I went to Oregon State, it was right there, right when I got there. I was like, ‘OK, I can see myself here.’ ”
Slocum says she plans to train and attend school this summer at Oregon State.
She was recently invited to try out for Team USA’s under-23 team. Tryouts will be in August in Colorado Springs. In 2016, Slocum was a member of Team USA’s FIBA U-19 World Championship team.