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Jamie Pickens of Carroll College named NAIA national player of the year

Jamie Pickens
Posted at 11:08 AM, Apr 01, 2024
and last updated 2024-04-01 15:55:19-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Jamie Pickens of Carroll College was named national player of the year Monday by the NAIA.

Pickens, a 6-foot-2 Helena High alum, averaged 19.1 points and 11.5 rebounds per game in 2023-24 while helping Carroll reach the semifinals of the national tournament for the first time. She recorded 25 double doubles and posted 32 of 34 games in double-digit points, with 11 games of 20-plus points and four games of 30-plus points.

Pickens became the second Saints player to score 2,000 career points (joining Jolene Fuzesy) and grabbed the all-time rebounding record with 1,035 total boards.

She finished her career tied for the program lead in career points per game (15.9 ppg), and second in career blocked shots (141) while also leading all players in both field goals attempted and made.

"Jamie was the best player in the country all season long," Carroll coach Rachelle Sayers said. "This is a tremendous accomplishment for her and a testament to her commitment to this program, this school, and to the Helena community.

"She was a once-in-a-lifetime player. There will never be another Jamie Pickens, and I'm extremely honored to have coached her for the last four years. Her impact on this team and in this community will be felt for years to come."

Pickens was also named a first-team All-American by the NAIA to become the first Carroll player to be named to the first team in back to back years.

Providence guard Ashlee Maldonado was also named to the All-America first team, and Jordan Sweeney of Montana Western was chosen for the second team.

Maldonado helped lead the Argos to the Frontier Conference tournament championship and an appearance in the NAIA national title game, where they fell to Dordt (Iowa) last week.

Maldonado, a transfer from Division I Santa Clara, averaged 18.0 points, 5.7 rebounds and 4.8 assists per game.

Sweeney, a guard from Oakley, Calif., led the Frontier with averages of 20.6 points and 5.4 assists per game. Sweeney set a UM Western single-game record by scoring 43 points against Rocky Mountain College on Feb. 24.

On the men's side, Carroll's Andrew Cook was named a first-team All-American by the NAIA. Cook led the Frontier in scoring at 20.5 points per game on the way to winning the league's MVP honor.

Montana Tech's Asa Williams was also honored as a third-team selection. Williams averaged 16.5 points per game in 2023-24.

Great Falls High alum Drew Wyman, a guard from the College of Idaho, was also picked for the third team. Wyman had averages of 11.4 points and 4.2 rebounds per game.