Fairchild finds her fit at Rocky

Neil Patrick Healy

Shields Valley guard and Rocky Mountain College commit Jen Fairchild (12) drives through two Lone Peak defenders in the second round of the Class C District Tournament, Feb. 16 at Manhattan Christian High School. (Enterprise photo by Neil Patrick Healy)

When Shields Valley girls basketball standout Jen Fairchild was looking for a landing spot to continue her playing career, she wanted to find the right fit for her. She found it at Rocky Mountain College, a place she always pictured herself going to.

“I could tell it was family oriented, like everyone was super close with each other, and I really like that,” Fairchild said. “I’ve gone to NBC camps down there since eighth grade, and I’ve just loved the campus ever since then, and I just felt comfortable when I was talking with the coaches.”

Fairchild took the lead on her recruiting, sending out emails and highlights tapes to numerous coaches and programs, with Rocky being the main suitor. Based on those highlights and her performance at numerous camps, Rocky offered her a spot even without seeing her play at Shields Valley in person.

The other program keeping tabs on her was Montana Western. Fairchild and her family are on the same page with her commitment to Rocky being the best outcome.

“When we were down there on the tour, you could tell based on her and how she was interacting how relaxed she was,” said Fairchild’s mother, Lea. “She’s going into physical therapy and they have really good science stuff down there.”

Fairchild will be on a partial scholarship and will pursue a degree centered on physical therapy.

Rocky’s total enrollment is around 1000, with around 900 undergraduate students, which is another reason Fairchild finds a fit there, citing her experience at a small school like Shields Valley.

Fairchild, who was named Second-Team All-Conference as a junior, helped lead Shields Valley to a 12-8 record while earning a No. 2 seed in the Class C District Tournament. She wsa the team’s second-leading scorer, averaging 10 points a game on 33 percent shooting and 34 percent from 3-point range. She also added four rebounds, two assists and just under two steals per game.

Rocky is currently third in the Frontier Conference with a record of 23-7 and 11-7 in conference play.