With Shatori Walker-Kimbrough and Brionna Jones graduating, Destiny Slocum was poised to emerge as the clear No. 1 player on a young Maryland women’s basketball team. But in an unexpected turn, she will transfer from the program along with Kiah Gillespie and Jenna Staiti.
Swish Appeal was first to report Slocum’s transfer, while The Washington Post’s Gene Wang reported that Gillespie and Staiti were joining her.
Head coach Brenda Frese had this to say in a release:
I truly enjoyed coaching Destiny and her energy she brought every day. I had many long conversations with her over the season and we spent a lot of time together. Our staff is proud of the commitment we put into Destiny’s development and all the accomplishments she achieved this season from Big Ten Freshman of the Year to WBCA National Freshman of the Year. We appreciate Kiah’s work over the last two seasons and Jenna’s efforts this year. We wish all three of them nothing but success on and off the court as they move forward.
This is a shocking turn of events for a team that figures to need all the young talent it can get with Walker-Kimbrough and Jones off to play in the WNBA. Slocum was the Big Ten Freshman of the Year and just took home a National Freshman of the Year award from the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association. She averaged 11.5 points and 6.0 assists per game, and started 34 of 35 games.
Gillespie and Staiti averaged 4.1 and three points per game, respectively. Playing time might have been an issue for them, though Staiti indicated in a school release that she wanted to be closer to home.
“I have made a decision, due to personal family issues, that being closer to home is in the best interests of our family,” Stati said.
Homesickness for some, lack of playing time for others. https://t.co/nVUmTOI9nY— Gene Wang (@gene_wang) April 4, 2017
Slocum appeared to be ready to take the reigns as the program’s clear best player. Now that she won’t be around, Frese will have to look to the rest of her highly regarded — but young — players to rebuild the program.