Mountain View High grad Destiny Slocum made quite an impression on one of the greatest women’s basketball players of all time Monday.
Four-time gold medalist Diana Taurasi and the rest of the U.S. women’s basketball team faced Oregon State and Slocum in an exhibition game Monday. And the WNBA’s all-time leading scorer made sure to seek out Slocum after the game.
“I love the way you play,” Taurasi was caught saying on camera. “You play hard every time.”
Slocum scored a team-high 15 points while adding five assists and four rebounds in Oregon State’s 81-58 loss to the U.S. national team. The Beavers trailed by five points at halftime before the national team pulled away in the second half.
Taurasi wasn’t the only one impressed with Slocum’s performance. A’ja Wilson, a forward for the Las Vegas Aces and Slocum’s roommate during the 2015 FIBA U-19 World Cup, also praised Slocum.
“At the end of the game I just told her to keep going, to keep leading her team,” Wilson told the USA Basketball website. “Destiny is someone who is very easy to play with, so I know that Oregon State has just welcomed her and she’s leading the way that she should.
“It was definitely a lot of fun seeing her compete against Diana (Taurasi) and Sue (Bird) and seeing her grow in that area. The sky’s the limit for a young kid like Destiny, and I’m looking forward to seeing her in March with this great Oregon State team.”
Slocum led Oregon State to the Sweet 16 at last year’s NCAA Tournament and was one of five finalists for the country’s top point guard award. The junior also was projected as a potential first-round draft pick in the WNBA Draft in June — if she declared early for the draft.
But Slocum told reporters after the game she still has a lot to learn about adjusting to the professional level.
“We’re out there playing across from people we’ve looked up to our entire lives,” Slocum told the Portland Tribune. “Having watched Diana Taurasi and Sue Bird while I was growing up, and then having them guarding you, you’re like, ‘Wow.’ There’s so much to learn from.”
Oregon State opens its season at home against UC Irvine at 7 p.m. MT Saturday in the Preseason WNIT.