South Carolina women's basketball redshirt sophomore transfer Destiny Littleton's request for a waiver to play for the Gamecocks this season has been denied by the NCAA. The San Diego, Calif. native will have two years of eligibility remaining after this season. Littleton will continue to practice with the team in 2018-19 after she recovers from a small procedure due to chronic ankle issues.
"It's unfortunate that Destiny's waiver didn't get approved," South Carolina head coach Dawn Staley said. "So I'm going to leave it right there because I could say somethings that will be taken into context, instead of out of context.
"But she does have a chronic ankle injury that will need a small procedure, so she'll be out for a period of time.
"[She handled the news] probably like any young person would. Very devastated. I handled it that way, because you know, when we're asking the NCAA to approve somebody for a waiver, we tell the truth. I think sometimes you have to fudge the truth a little bit in order for you to get those things approved.
"But I'm devastated for her. You know, she's got a past that if she shares ... I thought it was enough to allow her to play. It took a big piece of her life, as far as basketball, away from her. And that's what she's here to do. I don't think it was a wise decision on their part."
The 5-foot-9 guard transferred to South Carolina after two seasons at Texas, the first of which she redshirted. Littleton played in all 33 games in 2018-19, starting 12 and playing the third-most minutes on the team. Littleton posted 8.4 points per game and shot 32.2 percent from 3-point range last season.
She went to Texas following a prolific high school career during which she became the all-time leading scorer in California high school history with 4,300 points. She earned California Ms. Basketball honors in 2017 in addition to playing the McDonald's All-American Game and the Jordan Brand Classic following a senior season that saw her average 42.7 points, 10.9 rebounds and 5.0 assists.
South Carolina opens its season exhibition game on Friday, Nov. 1, at 7 p.m. against North Georgia. The regular season tips off on Tuesday, Nov. 5, with a 7 p.m. game at Colonial Life Arena against Alabama State.