Utah State women’s basketball announces four signees | Sports

LOGAN, Utah — Utah State women’s basketball head coach Wesley Brooks announced four additions to the team’s 2024-25 roster on Wednesday, including Rhode Island transfer Sophie Sene (Sen), College of Southern Idaho transfer Jamisyn (Jaim-uh-sun) Heaton, Salt Lake Community College transfer Mia Tarver and incoming freshman Ava Smith. 

All three transfers enter Utah State as juniors and will have two years of eligibility.

Sene, a 6-foot-3 center from Nice, France, joins the Aggies after spending the past three years at Rhode Island. There, she redshirted as a true freshman in 2021-22 before playing each of the past two seasons and appearing in 24 games. During her time with the Rams, the team posted a 69-28 combined record, winning Atlantic 10 regular season championships and qualifying for the WNIT in 2022 and 2023, and making a run to the conference championship game in 2024. 

“Sophie brings valuable experience from a winning Division I program at Rhode Island, where she spent the past three years,” Brooks said. “Her versatile skill set, including a strong elbow jump shot and rebounding ability, will make a big difference in our system. We’re excited to see the athleticism that she brings to the court.” 

Prior to her collegiate career, Sene played club basketball in her home country for Pole France de Basketball at the National Institute of Sport, Expertise and Performance. She also competed with the U16 French National Team, helping the squad to a European Athletics Youth championship in 2016. 

Heaton, a 5-10 guard from Lehi, Utah, joins the Aggies after playing her first two collegiate seasons at two different schools. After beginning her career at Colorado Mesa in 2022-23, Heaton transferred to play her sophomore year at College of Southern Idaho in 2023-24. At CSI, she led the Golden Eagles to a conference championship and a national tournament appearance, earning Scenic West Tournament MVP honors and a spot on the all-region second team. As a sophomore, she averaged a team-best 12.6 points, to go along with, 6.3 rebounds, 1.5 steals and 1.3 assists per contest, while shooting 49.2 percent (150-of-305) from the floor. 

“Jamisyn is a very good in-state player with a well-rounded skill set,” Brooks said. “She can do multiple things very well. She brings outstanding toughness and leadership to the team, and her style of play is going to fit very well into our system.”

Prior to her time at CSI, Heaton spent her freshman season at Colorado Mesa, where she started all 29 games and averaged 5.9 points and 3.9 rebounds per contest.

Heaton was a four-year letterwinner at Lehi (Utah) High School, where she led the Pioneers to region championships each of her four years. As a senior in 2021-22, she was the Utah 5A Player of the Year and a first-team all-state selection as she averaged 16.6 points, 6.1 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.8 steals per game. Through the course of her high school career, Heaton amassed over 900 points, averaging 12.3 points and 5.6 rebounds per contest. She also played softball, earning first-team all-state honors her junior and senior seasons. 

Tarver, a 5-7 guard from Salt Lake City, Utah, joins the team as a junior college transfer. She spent the past two seasons at Salt Lake Community College, where she helped lead the Bruins to a combined 44-15 record. As a sophomore in 2023-24, Tarver made 20 starts, averaging 9.6 points, 3.6 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 1.9 steals per contest as her team finished the year ranked No. 18 in the nation. She scored in double-figures 13 times last season, including a season-high 20 points against Central Wyoming College. 

“Mia is coming to us from a strong junior college program where she has done a lot of winning the past two seasons,” Brooks said. “She is a hard-nosed defender and a very capable 3-point shooter. She also brings a high-level of athleticism, which will be instrumental in our press.”

Tarver prepped at East High School, where she was a four-year letterwinner. She earned first-team all-state twice and was named to the all-region team all four years, totaling over 2,000 points in her career. As a senior, Tarver averaged 15.8 points, 8.3 rebounds, 3.9 steals and 3.0 assists per contest. 

Smith, a 5-8 guard from Camas, Washington, had a decorated career at Union High School where she was a four-year letterwinner. While scoring over 1,000 points in her prep career, Smith was a three-time team captain, a four-time all-league honoree, including earning first team accolades for three-straight years, and a three-time all-region selection. As a senior in 2023-24, Smith averaged 14.9 points, 5.1 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 2.0 steals per game as she helped the Titans go 19-5, setting a school record for most wins in a season. 

“Ava’s exceptional basketball IQ and scoring efficiency set her apart,” Brooks said. “She’s a strong playmaker who can have an impact in many ways. We’re looking forward to having her at Utah State for the next four years and watching her develop as a lead guard in our system.”

Smith also played club basketball for one of the nation’s premiere AAU programs, Tree of Hope EYBL, helping her squad win the AAU National Championship in 2023. She was one of just three players from the state of Washington named as a McDonald’s All-American nominee, joining two of her teammates. 

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