Not a lot went right for the Triton Regional High School girls’ basketball team in its opening game of the 2011-12 season. The Mustangs suffered a 51-34 defeat to Paul VI in a game Deja Bullock remembers as being “embarrassing.”
However, it turns out that game had great significance to Bullock and her future. A scout from La Salle University was in attendance during that contest and liked what he saw from the then junior.
“They stayed throughout the whole game and that next day my mom came in contact with the coach. They were talking and the coach was saying he liked (my) size and that (I) played through the whole game,” Bullock said.
After a few more conversations, La Salle found a whole lot more of Bullock's game to like.
Flanked by her parents, Bullock made her relationship with La Salle official Thursday morning, signing a letter of intent to attend the Philadelphia
university next fall. She received a full athletic scholarship.
For Bullock, putting pen to paper represented validation that all of the time, energy and passion she put into the sport had paid off.
“It’s very special and nice,” said Bullock. “I have been waiting a while for this. All that hard work and having no friends, no life while playing basketball every weekend, and being deprived of that regular teenage life all paid off because now I am going to college for free.”
Bullock was exaggerating a little, of course, as a host of family members and close friends joined her in celebrating her accomplishments Thursday morning.
Although La Salle was not the only school interested in Bullock’s talents, the Triton senior faced no dilemmas when it was time to choose where she would be spending her next four years.
“It’s wasn’t a tough decision once I met the coaching staff,” Bullock said. “It’s one thing to just meet an assistant coach and it’s another to meet the head coach and for him to be such a nice man. I know he has my best interest at heart and I’m not just another one of his players. Their biggest thing is family there and I feel like family every time I step on that campus.”
Bullock, who intends on majoring in Speech-Language Pathology, understands the transition from high-school basketball to Division I is not one that will be easy. She is also confident that she has what it takes to not only compete, but thrive at the next level.
“I’m really excited,” said Bullock. “I should put on a little more weight and there are a couple of things I should work on, but I feel I am ready. I’m not nervous. I’m ready.”
Before she becomes a La Salle Explorer, Bullock has a few things left on her check list for her senior year at Triton, including finishing with more than 1,000 points and 1,000 rebounds. Both barriers could be broken early this season with Bullock currently at 850 points and 996 rebounds. She also wants to see her team have a winning season
“I want to go to the playoffs; that would be great,” said Bullock. “I hope that we can take it all the way. Things happen, but I really want us to go far this year.”