MERIDIAN — Trinity Slocum gets it all the time.
This reporter is guilty of it too.
The Mountain View High School girls basketball player is not her older sister, a redshirt junior guard for No. 7 Oregon State, who is widely considered the greatest prospect ever to come out of Idaho.
Trinity is a 5-foot-7 junior point guard and the catalyst for the Mavericks (2-1, 0-1 5A SIC), who after coming up one heartbreaking loss from a perfect season last year have state championship aspirations once again.
And that’s perfectly fine with her.
Mountain View hosts Rocky Mountain (1-1, 1-1) at 7:30 p.m. Thursday in its home opener.
“Trinity could care less,” said father and Mountain View assistant coach Jon Slocum. “At the end of the day, she wants to walk away with that title. If she walks away with that title, that will do it all. She wants to make sure she leaves her own legacy here.”
But it wasn’t always that way for the 16-year-old. She wanted to be just like Destiny, who is five and a half years older, growing up.
Trinity joined Hoop Dreams in the third grade — the same team her sister had played on years earlier. And just like Destiny, she played up too. Trinity accidentally went to the sixth grade practice. She ended up being the starting point guard for the entire year before anybody noticed.
Trinity played up again when she was invited by Mountain View coach Connie Skogrand to play in summer tournaments for the junior varsity team in the seventh and eighth grades.
“Trinity was competitive, very competitive to the point where she was asking me questions about what Destiny did ahead of her because she wanted to somehow eclipse it,” said Jon, who has coached both of his daughters at Hoop Dreams and Mountain View.
While Trinity admired Destiny, she wanted to beat her at the same time.
Trinity routinely lost pickup games and games of HORSE to her at the YMCA. She still hasn’t beaten her to this day.
“She’s never taken it easy on me,” Trinity said while laughing. “It’s so frustrating because all I want to do is brag to my parents that I beat her. But I still learned a lot from her. I wouldn’t be the player I am today without her.”
Trinity watched closely as Destiny took the state and the nation by storm. She was the ball girl for the Mavericks during Destiny’s freshman year before witnessing her win back-to-back state championships in 2015 and ‘16.
Destiny finished her Mountain View career with 2,281 points, 510 rebounds, 304 steals and 442 assists — all school records. She was also a three-time 5A SIC Player of the Year, a two-time Gatorade Idaho Player of the Year, a member of Team USA’s FIBA U19 World Championship team and the first player from the state to play in the McDonald’s All-American game.
It resulted in her being a five-star recruit and the No. 7 girls player in the country, according to ESPNW — the highest ranking ever for a player from Idaho.
After signing with Maryland, Destiny was the Big 10 Freshman of the Year before transferring to Oregon State where she was an AP All-American honorable mention last season.
People expected the same out of Trinity when she started at Mountain View in 2017. It didn’t help that Trinity wore Destiny’s old No. 24 either.
“Is she like Destiny? It was the first question everybody asked me,” Skogrand said. “And I would always say no because no one is. I never compared her to her sister. That’s such an unfair thing to do. For one, she’s just a different kind of player and two, can you imagine if you had a famous sibling and you were trying to do the same thing they were? I didn’t want to put that kind of pressure on a young kid.”
The main difference between the two sisters is simple. Destiny is a scorer, while Trinity is the facilitator.
“People look at Destiny like an Allen Iverson, they look at Trinity like a John Stockton,” Jon said. “Destiny has a passion to want to be the scorer. But Trinity is actually more likely to play a nice pass to you. She’s a true point guard’s point guard. She can come away with say six points and be OK.”
But even after starting in every game on varsity since the second game of her freshman season, earning two All-SIC honors in consecutive seasons, winning a District III title and playing in a state championship game, Trinity still can’t escape her sister’s shadow.
Trinity gets one of these questions every time she walks into a gym without fail.
“Are you Destiny?”
“How’s Oregon State?”
“Oh, Destiny has a sister?”
Even the people who know her and not Destiny — like her own teachers — call her “Destiny.”
She even gets it from her own parents.
“It’s hard always being compared to her,” Trinity said. “You get the feeling that if you make a mistake or you don’t get what she’s achieved, you’re kind of letting people down.”
Trinity hasn’t let that pressure get to her, though. If anything, she’s thrived under it.
Through her first two seasons, with the exception of points, her statistics are right there with Destiny’s.
Trinity totaled 449 points, 228 rebounds, 115 steals, 146 assists and 18 blocks over the last two seasons. Destiny had 870 points, 176 rebounds, 136 steals, 155 assists and 14 blocks at the end of her sophomore year.
She also played an instrumental role in one of the best seasons in program history last year. The Mavericks went 25-1 on their way to a runner-up finish at state along with SIC and District III titles. Trinity was a second-team All-SIC selection.
Trinity already has four Division I offers from Michigan, Texas, Gonzaga and Colorado State. Michigan and Gonzaga are currently ranked No. 21 and No. 23 respectively in the AP Top 25 Poll.
Trinity has even accepted the fact that she will probably always be compared to and mistaken for Destiny. During a recent school field trip in downtown Boise, she took a photo with a group of people who thought she was Destiny.
“She is doing amazing. Watching her develop into the player and person she is today is admirable, knowing all the pressure she has faced throughout the process,” Destiny said. “I’m proud of what she is doing and what she will continue to do.”
Trinity comes into this season more motivated than ever before. It all stems from last year’s devastating loss in the 5A state championship final.
Mountain View had its perfect season spoiled in a 51-47 loss to Eagle. Trinity fouled out of the game with 2:18 remaining. She watched from the bench as the Mavericks, who had beaten opponents by an average of 24.9 points, including the Mustangs three times prior to the title game, failed to become the first 5A girls team in a decade and the first in the Treasure Valley since 1983 to finish a season undefeated. A 5-for-55 (27%) shooting night, including a 2-for-21 (9%) performance from behind the arc will do it.
“After the game I didn’t even want to watch the ceremony. I even asked Coach Sko(grand) if I could just go to the locker room because I was over it,” Trinity said. “But even walking with Eagle and seeing them cheer down the hallway, I grabbed my medal and just threw it. I didn’t even pick it back up. I think I held onto that emotion for two to three weeks.
“It’s indescribable how much that hurt. You work so hard to get to that moment and it just all falls apart. That was the worst feeling I’ve ever experienced on a basketball court.”
She took those frustrations out in the offseason.
Trinity helped her Hoop Dreams team finish runner-up at the Nike National Tournament in Chicago before leading Mountain View to a dominate performance at a Gonzaga camp over the summer. The Mavericks went undefeated and beat teams by an average of 20 points per game.
Mountain View brings back nearly its entire team from last season with nine returners, including All-SIC players Naya Ojukwu, Laila Saenz and of course Trinity. She’s a team captain for the second year, is averaging 13 points, 3.5 steals, 3 assists and 2.5 rebounds per game.
She did have to miss Tuesday’s game against Meridian with a sprained ankle. The Mavericks were upset 59-53.
But she’s expected to be back.
Trinity Slocum, that is.
Not Destiny Slocum.
“I’ve always been taught to be your own person. And that’s my mentality,” Trinity said. “Destiny is known for what she’s known for, but people expect me to be known for the same things, but I’m not. And I know I’m not. And I’m OK with that because I want to be the first Trinity Slocum.”