The following exclusive interview with Destiny Pitts took place on the condition that her departure from the Gophers last January would not be discussed. She is focused on moving forward as one of the country’s top players, and we support that aim.
ESPN recently released its list of freshmen and transfers that will influence the upcoming 2020-21 women’s college basketball season. Senior Destiny Pitts is ranked fifth.
The 5’-10” Detroit native transferred from Minnesota to Texas A&M last spring. Originally slated to sit out this season due to transferring, the NCAA granted Pitts a transfer waiver to play for the Aggies this season. She is expected to provide immediate scoring and three-point efficiency.
“I kind of knew when I left Minnesota I had a good chance I would play right away,” said Pitts last week during an exclusive MSR Zoom interview. She hasn’t spoken publicly since she unexpectedly was suspended from the Gophers in January, which eventually led to her departure.
“I didn’t worry about that because of everything that happened. I knew with the proper paperwork [submitted], I would be able to play,” she said.
When COVID-19 abruptly shut down sports last spring and with the 2020-21 season far from certain, Pitts’ off-season regimen, along with other aspects of her college life, was abruptly affected.
“I finished my semester at Minnesota and I was training there for a while,” recalled Pitts. “I was training back home [in Detroit] for a while. I was home for a week. Then I came to Texas at the end of May.
“I polished some of my skills over the off-season, to be able to play how I play,” continued Pitts. She was unanimous Big Ten Freshman of the Year (2017-18) and a two-time All-Big Ten performer.
Asked if A&M fans might unfairly expect her to replace former star Chennedy Carter, who just completed her WNBA rookie season, Pitts replied, “I think right now I can form my own identity.”
Choosing Texas A&M over other schools was easy for her, Pitts pointed out. “I had several conversations with the coaching staff. I felt it was the best situation for me. School-wise, I could transfer most of my credits [from Minnesota].”
Still, she had to fit in with her new teammates, which was made somewhat difficult this off-season because of COVID. The guard-forward likes the Aggies’ chances this season—they are ranked 14th in the national preseason polls. “I think we will be really good,” declared Pitts.
“Our defense is really good. The only thing is that we have a new point guard. That might be the only thing we’re worried about right now.”
Equally comfortable at the two or three, “I feel both positions are the same,” said Pitts, who added that she’s not yet sure exactly where she will be playing when the season starts later this month.
She said she’s ready for the SEC, one of the nation’s toughest WBB conferences. “Everybody in this league is more athletic,” she said, but she’s worked hard on improving her game to meet league standards, such as “going off the dribble. Knowing when to take it off the bounce or catch and shoot it. To know when to exploit [the defense],” said Pitts proudly of the fruits of her labor.
Her parents are happy for her as well. “They are just excited to see me play again, especially since this is my last year. They know I am in a good environment.
“I’m feeling pretty good,” she said. “I’ve been here and adjusted to the system. I feel physically and mentally pretty good.”
Texas A&M is expected to start its 2020-21 season November 25, but no schedule yet has been released. “I’m looking forward to getting back on the court,” said Pitts.
Charles Hallman is a contributing reporter and award-winning sports columnist at the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder.