Players transferring in Division I men’s and women’s basketball is becoming a regular occurrence. The new trend has hit the Maryland Terrapins women’s program hard. In a shocking development, National Freshman of the Year Destiny Slocum is transferring from the university, the school announced earlier Tuesday.
Slocum arrived to Maryland rated the No. 3 point guard in the nation. She was the centerpiece of the nation’s top-rated recruiting class in 2016. The 5-foot-7 point guard started 34 games for Brenda Frese’s team, averaging 11.5 points and six assists helping Maryland to a share of the Big Ten Conference regular season title and the Big Ten Tournament title before bowing out of the NCAA Tournament in the Sweet 16 to Oregon.
It was Slocum who had one of the best shots of the NCAA Tournament when she drained a three-quarters heave to beat the buzzer to end the second quarter versus West Virginia in the second round.
“I’m grateful for my time at Maryland and the opportunity,” Slocum said in a statement. “I want to thank my teammates and coaches and all the fans for their support this season. I’ve put a lot of thought and prayer into this decision. I’ve talked with my family and Coach B a great deal and have decided to continue my college career elsewhere.”
According to Gene Wang of the Washington Post, Slocum, who is native of Meridian, Idaho, was homesick at times throughout the season a person familiar with the situation told him. There’s no immediate word as to where Slocum intends to transfer. However, she will have to sit out next season per NCAA transferring rules. If she prefers to be closer to home, Boise State, Idaho, and Idaho State are the only three Division I programs in the state.
Slocum becomes the second high-profile player to recently transfer from Maryland. In 2015, Lexie Brown, daughter of former NBA star Dee Brown, announced her intentions to transfer. It was believed then, she wanted to play close to home. The Georgia native lived just 30 miles from Georgia Tech. Instead she landed at Duke, Maryland’s most hated rival when they were members of the Atlantic Coast Conference.
Slocum is not the only current player who will transfer from the program. Sophomore forward Kiah Gillespie and freshman center Jenna Staiti. Gillespie, the 2014 Connecticut Gatorade Player of the Year, was also a McDonald’s All-American, rated as the No. 25 player in the nation coming out of high school by ESPN. She averaged just nine minutes per game this season.
Staiti, was part of Maryland’s top-rated recruiting class. She was rated a five star by ESPN, and was the 2016 Georgia Gatorade Player of the Year — the No. 2 center in the nation. She played less than six minutes per game this season.
Maryland now will have to replace three starters with Slocum’s departure, as Brionna Jones and Shatori Walker-Kimbrough, two of the more decorated players in program’s history, are graduating in May. Both Jones and Walker-Kimbrough were the team’s leading scorers this season.