March is Girls Sports Month. USA TODAY High School Sports will provide a series of pieces in which female athletes from high school to the pros and their mentors and coaches share their views on topics such as leadership, mentoring, perseverance and the important role athletics has played in their lives.
Destiny Littleton has a long list of accolades as a high school basketball player at The Bishop’s School (La Jolla, Calif.) — all-time leading scorer in California, among the 10 top scorers in girls high school basketball history, McDonald’s All American, Jordan Brand Classic selection, all-state honoree.
This week, she gets the chance to add San Diego Section Open Division champion.
Littleton and The Bishop’s School (29-2) play Mission Hills, which beat Bishop’s last season in the Open semifinals.
Bishop’s has not lost to a San Diego team this season.
Littleton, a USC signee, is leading the nation in scoring at 44.6 points per game and adds 11.4 rebounds. A 5-9 sparkplug, Littleton has used her strength and guile to succeed against players who are often bigger.
“Growing up, I was a post player and then I was transformed into a guard,” she said. “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.”
That heart also helped Littleton survive amid family problems. Coach Marlon Wells now serves as her guardian.
USA TODAY High School Sports spoke with Littleton as part of Girls Sports Month about the role athletics has played in her life, her role model and her advice for young kids following behind her.
Q: When did you know that sports was going to be a big part of your life?
A: The summer going into 7th grade I knew basketball was going to be something I needed and something I wanted. I was dealing with a lot of family issues and used basketball as an outlet for my anger and feelings. From there, I grew to love the sport because I knew it was always something I could count on.
Q: How has being involved in sports impacted you?
A: It has transformed my life. If it wasn’t for basketball I probably wouldn’t be here and having the success in life that I’m having.
Q: Is there a female athlete that you looked up to growing up and why?
A: I have always looked up Maya Moore. She has been my idol and woman that I strive to be. Whether it is with the community or basketball, she has a big impact on the little kids and that’s what I want for my career. Not only do I look at her game and try to add things to my arsenal, I look at how she interacts with the kids and her teammates.
Q: Given the position athletes have in school and beyond, what responsibility do you feel to the younger kids who look up to you?
A: I feel a lot of responsibility to pave the way for the younger kids. To keep the game growing and the atmosphere competitive. Being a role model for the young kids keeps their confidence up and allows them to continue on with their dreams. It’s a great feeling when you hear a young kid say they look up to you, that means you’re doing something right.
See more amazing girls and women at women.usatoday.com