girls basketball

USC signee Destiny Littleton receives McDonald's All American jersey during record year

Destiny LIttleton, shown with her honorary McDonald's All American Games jersey, is leading the nation in scoring. Photo: MCDAAG.

Destiny Littleton, shown with her honorary McDonald’s All American Games jersey, is leading the nation in scoring. Photo: MCDAAG.

The Bishop’s School (La Jolla, Calif.) guard Destiny Littleton, surprisingly, didn’t have a hard time putting on her honorary McDonald’s All American Games jersey on Thursday. You would think her shoulders might still be sore after scoring 62 points in a 92-60 defeat of Horizon Christian Academy (San Diego) on Tuesday night.

Littleton, a 5-9 senior who has signed with Southern Cal, is leading the nation with an average of 48.1 points a game this season. Her total of 4,090 career points places her 11th on the all-time list. While many of the more recognizable California names on that list, just as Lisa Leslie or Cheryl Miller, have been 6 foot or taller, Littleton is a sparkplug-like 5-9.

Littleton was honored as part of McDonald’s Hometown Heroes presented by American Family Insurance.

“I think it’s the heart that someone has,” Littleton said. “Growing up, I was a post player and then I was transformed into a guard. Being an undersized guard, you have to work a lot more on your game and your skills if you’re just not blessed with height. For me, it has been my heart, going against 6-3 to 5-7 girls.”

Littleton has spent a lot of time in the basketball gym to get to where she is. She made herself into a solid three-point shooter with lots of shots and her strength training regimen allows her to overpower some players.

“I am able to bully the little guards and use my strength against the taller girls,” Littleton said. “The weight room has played a major part in my basketball.”

Last month, she passed former WNBA player Charde Houston to become California’s top career girls high school basketball scorer. The Bishop’s School coach Marlon Wells was Houston’s coach at San Diego High and Houston was on hand to congratulate Littleton when she set the record.

“She was there (at Littleton’s games) for about a week before, making sure she did not miss the moment I broke her record,” Littleton said. “For me, it showed maturity in her. Some people get mad when others break records, but she was very excited for me. She’s always been my mentor being that she was Marlon’s player and kind of paved the way for me and she’s always been by my side. I look up to her. She’s been in the WNBA, she’s played overseas, she’s been in the WNBA championship, so for her to be there for me was just amazing.”

Houston overcame being homeless growing up to become the first in her family to graduate from college (at Connecticut) and Littleton, whose guardian is Wells, had her own hard times, she said.

“She didn’t have a good background and people who really know me know that I didn’t have a good background growing up,” Littleton said. “So just knowing that two people have been through tough times when they were little and overcame that situation speaks volumes to the little girls looking up to us. To me, it shows that there’s light at the end of the tunnel with what she’s accomplished.”

Destiny presented her coach and guardian, Marlon Wells, with the Dream Champion Award. (Photo: McDAAG)

Destiny presented her guardian/coach, Marlon Wells, with the Dream Champion Award. (Photo: McDAAG)

Littleton has faced some criticism because of her high point totals, but that’s her role with the Knights, who are 24-1 this season and are hoping for a deep playoff run.

“I know it’s my job is to score points, but it’s also to put the team on my back,” Littleton said. “There are some games where teams get mad that we’re running up the score, but the reality is, I don’t play 90% of the fourth quarter. I just think there’s no reason for anyone to be mad at someone for scoring points when they’ve put in the hard work. It’s not just me taking advantage of the other players, it’s me putting in the hard work to score points.”