Destiny Slocum’s whirlwind trip to Russia included seven basketball games in nine days.
As a last-minute call-up to the United States’ U-19 team, the Mountain View High senior faced the challenge of trying to fit in on the fly with a team that had already been practicing and playing together for several months.
The Mountain View High senior proved to be a worthy — albeit late — addition to the national team.
Slocum played in all seven of the United States’ games, including Sunday’s 78-70 victory over host Russia for the Americans’ record sixth straight and seventh overall FIBA U19 World Championship gold medal.
Slocum, the 2015 Gatorade Idaho Girls Basketball Player of the Year, came off the Team USA bench for three assists, three rebounds and two personal fouls in 11 minutes against Russia.
She’ll be bringing a gold medal back to Boise.
“It is amazing. I don’t think there is anything better than representing your country and also winning a gold medal for it. The honor is a blessing,” Slocum told USA Basketball.
The United States finished the tournament 7-0, but not without a fight in their final matchup. While the Americans beat their first six opponents by double digits, the championship game featured six lead changes and 10 ties. The United States trailed 21-19 at the end of the first quarter.
“Everyone wants a good game, especially for the championship, and the crowd really gave it to us,” Slocum said. “For us to overcome adversity was a bittersweet feeling, and that adds on to the gold, I think.”
Slocum helped Mountain View win the program’s first 5A state championship in February. She will be a senior for the Mavericks this fall.
While she originally gave a verbal commitment to play for Washington, Slocum reopened her recruiting this spring, making her one of the most coveted recruits remaining in the 2015 class.