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A special day for Trottier and the Skylights

Harlem star Taya Trottier signs to play basketball for MSU-Northern

 

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson

Harlem junior Taya Trottier, middle, signs her NAIA national letter of intent to play college basketball for the Montana State University-Northern Skylights, starting in 2022. Flanked by her parents, Brandon and Angel, it was an exciting day Monday in the MSU-N SUB for the family, and for Harlem and Northern basketball.

Montana State University-Northern head women's basketball coach Chris Mouat is big on talent from the Treasure State. And when he can stock his roster with homegrown talent, that's even better.

So Monday afternoon was an important day for Mouat and the Skylights, as well as the Harlem community, as he announced the signing of Harlem junior Taya Trottier to an NAIA national letter of intent.

Trottier has two years left as a Wildcat, but she was excited to make the Skylights her college of choice.

"Northern is so close to all my family," Trottier said. "I really like that about it. Plus, I've been coming to camp here for a long time. I really like Coach (Mouat). I'll also get to play with a former teammate (L'Tia Lawrence), so it was just a really good decision for me, and I'm really excited about it."

Mouat couldn't have been more excited, too.

"This is big news for our program," Mouat said, "With Taya only heading into her junior season, we knew we wanted to go after her right away. We couldn't be happier that she's decided to sign with us early. She's a Hi-Line kid, and one of the top players in the state, no doubt."

Trottier has been a key piece to Harlem becoming one of the best Class B programs in Montana in recent years, and her head coach couldn't have been more proud of her on signing day.

"With everything going on in this world, this is a very happy time," Harlem head girls coach Martin Lawrence said to the gathering of family and friends inside the MSU-Northern SUB. "This young lady sets an example of what it means to be a hard worker, and that hard work pays off. I'm so proud to be her coach, and I'm just very excited."

This past season, Trottier was a First-Team All-Conference and All-State selection for the Wildcats. She is averaging 17.5 points, five rebounds, and nearly four assists per game. She shot 55.8 percent from the field and 71 percent from the free throw line. As a freshman, Trottier earned Second Team All-Conference honors.

"Taya has great basketball instincts," Mouat said. "She is really tough at the rim and she can hit the open perimeter shot. Plus, she is a gym rat who loves the game and will continue to get better as time goes on. She made a huge jump from her freshman to her sophomore season, and I think that trend will continue."

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson

Harlem's Taya Trottier brings the ball up during a Class B game against Rocky Boy last season in Harlem. In 2020, Trottier averaged 17 points and earned Class B All-State honors for the Wildcat.

Trottier, a three-sport athlete, also participated in cross country, where she finished in the top 20 at the State Class B Meet last fall. In track and field, she qualified for the State Class B Meet in the 800-meter run and as a member of the 1,600-meter relay team during her freshman season.

On the hardwood, in just two seasons, Trottier has been a part of history in Harlem, as the Wildcats reached their first-ever state tournament when she was a freshman, than repeated that feat this past spring. And with two years still to go in high school, the sky is the limit.

"She's already one of the best players in the state in my opinion," Mouat said. "And she's going to keep getting better and better because she works really hard.

"We are really happy to have Taya on board," he added. "She is an excellent student, carrying a 3.86 grade point average, a very hard worker and talented player. I believe she has an amazing future at Northern and in a Skylight uniform."

Trottier is the daughter of Brandon and Angel Trottier.

 

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