CHICAGO — Two-time Class AA state champion Jamie Pickens of Helena High has been named the 2017-2018 Montana Gatorade girls basketball player of the year. The 6-foot-2 junior was honored on Monday morning.
Pickens averaged 15 points, 11.9 rebounds, 2.8 steals, two assists and two blocks per game, leading Helena High to a 21-3 record and second consecutive State AA championship, defeating Missoula Sentinel 53-49 at Rimrock Auto Arena in Billings. Pickens was named co-MVP of the state tournament, splitting the honor with senior teammate Kamden Hilborn.
The first-team all-state selection has been tabbed as the nation’s No. 59 recruit in the 2019 class, according to espnW.
“Jamie can do it all,” said Missoula Big Sky head coach Michela Anderson. “She can play inside, play outside, play defense, the list goes on. She makes it really hard to defend, and you always have to make sure she is located.”
Pickens, who holds a 3.75 GPA, is a multi-sport standout at Helena High, earning all-state status in volleyball and softball. The University of Montana basketball commit has also spent time coaching youth in the Helena community, working as an elementary teacher’s aide and has played a significant role in fundraising for both cancer and mental health research.
Pickens joins an impressive list of past Gatorade player of the year honorees, including current Lady Griz players Sophia Stiles (2015-2016 and 2016-2017) and Taylor Goligoski (2012-2013 and 2014-2015), Fairfield’s Jill Barta (2013-2014) and Joslyn Tinkle of Missoula Big Sky (2007-2008 and 2008-2009).