Westminster basketball: 2 Utah high school stars, 1 UVU transfer set to join Griffins next season

By Josh Fisher

For the Deseret News

Published: Thursday, May 8 2014 1:20 p.m. MDT

Mountain View's Shyanne Halalilo Christina Augustin, Lindsay Ezola and Mika Pinner (left to right) as Mountain View High School defeats Springville High School to win the championship girl's 4A basketball game Saturday, Feb. 28, 2009, in Taylorsville, Utah. Tom Smart, Deseret News

Tom Smart, Deseret News

The Westminster College women’s basketball team signed three student-athletes to a NAIA/Frontier Conference Letter of Intent, head coach Shelley Jarrard announced Thursday. Rashel Blazzard, Jamaica Christensen and Mika Pinner will join the program for the 2014-15 academic year.

Blazzard will join the Griffins after a stellar career at Morgan High School in Morgan, Utah. Blazzard scored 913 points in her high school career despite only playing in three games as a junior. She was a two-time first team all-state selection and was named the 3A Defensive MVP by the Deseret News in 2014 while helping the Trojans to a runner-up finish at the Utah State Tournament. As a senior, Blazzard finished second in the state in scoring at 18.8 points per game while making 2.26 threes per outing. She led the state by averaging 5.5 assists and getting 4.13 steals per contest.

“Rashel is an excellent guard with great offensive skills,” Jarrard said. “She can handle the ball, shoot the three, get to the basket and find open players. She has a calm demeanor but is feisty and tough. While impressed with her offensive skill set, I am very excited about her defensive savvy. Rashel is a great leader, a fighter and someone who will have a great career at Westminster.”

Christensen comes to Westminster after attending Timpanogos High School in Orem, Utah. Christensen was named second team all-state as a senior after finishing third in the state by averaging 17.7 points per game and helping her team to the semifinals of the Utah 4A State Tournament. She scored at least 10 points in a game 21 times as a senior and went for 20-plus on 10 occasions. Christensen was named to the All-Tournament Team as a sophomore after helping her team win the state championship. She finished her prep career with 929 points and scored a career-high 34 in a game on Feb. 4, 2014. She won two state championships as a four-year starter on the Timpanogos soccer team and also holds the school record in the 100 and 200 meter dash.

“Jamaica is a fantastic all-around athlete who has excelled in basketball, track and soccer. She has some serious jets and yet is smooth and controlled with her speed,” Jarrard said. “She's crafty around the basket and can stretch longer than seems possible for her size. She's played so many different sports that it will be fun to watch her develop her skills and grow her confidence even more by getting to focus on basketball.”

Pinner is transferring to Westminster from Utah Valley where she was a redshirt last season. Pinner played two seasons at Western Wyoming Community College after a prep career at Mountain View High School in Orem, Utah. She averaged 14.6 points and 6.1 rebounds per game during her final year at Western Wyoming and earned first team all-region, academic all-region and academic all-conference honors. Pinner was named first team all-state as a senior at Mountain View after posting 12.2 points and eight rebounds per game.

“Mika was successful at both Mountain View High School and at Western Wyoming. She redshirted at UVU last season and will have two years with us,” Jarrard said. “She gives us much needed length and size, a presence in the key, while also being able to stretch the defense to the 3-point line. She has a knack for getting the ball away from defenders to score. She's a mature and experienced player and I am very happy she chose Westminster to continue her education.”

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