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Transplant gives Warriors a lift

TAYLORSVILLE — The Warrior basketball team helped out an athlete who found herself without a school, and in return, she's helping a deep team play even better.

Reisha Bullock came to Utah after Hurricane Katrina took her home, her school and almost her senior basketball season.

"It's hard to be here without my family," she said. "But I'm excited to be here because the girls are all so nice."

That was not the case four months ago. Bullock went another school in Baton Rouge after she and her mom relocated there because flooding destroyed their New Orleans home.

"Her house is under water," said Taylorsville coach Jace Hymas after the Warriors defeated Fremont 65-48 in their first game of the season. "She lost just about everything she had. . . She went to another school in Louisiana, but the girls there just couldn't share. She had a bad experience."

So she came to a place her father once called home — Utah.

Her father, Michael Bullock, played basketball at Salt Lake Community College and at the University of Utah nearly 20 years ago and still has many close friends here.

"I feel like I'm native," the 17-year-old said with a smile. "I'm just coming back."

In her visits to Utah she got to know two of her parents' closest friends, Trent and Beverly Harrison.

"I've known them all my life," said Bullock, who finished with 10 points and three steals. So when she began to have trouble finding a place at her new school in Louisiana, the Harrisons offered a solution. Move to Utah and attend their neighborhood school — Taylorsville High.

"Heck, I was happy as a clam to have her," Hymas said of the quick guard whose passing was as impressive as her shooting Tuesday night. "The girls love her. She's a genuinely kind individual. She tries to make them look better, and I have some players who make her look pretty good. It's nice to have a kid like that, and my girls are very unselfish with the ball."

Bullock knows her new teammates are something special to welcome her into their ranks knowing it means less time on the court for them.

"There can be a lot of jealousy arise on a team," Bullock said. "It hasn't been that way at all here."

She said she was a bit nervous in her first game as a Warrior, but the team did so well, most of the varsity spent a lot of time on the bench. The Warriors offense was running so well that even when the junior varsity took over, sophomore point guard Katie Balmforth sunk two 3-point shots.

"We can move the ball really well," Hymas said.

Ande Miller led the scoring with Bullock as each chipped in 10 points. Taesha Higbee added nine points and Suzanne Young and Katie Ventura added seven points each.

The Silver Wolves were without their starting point guard and one of the best shooters in the state - Maddie Fowler. The junior hurt her knee playing powder puff football this fall. She's out anywhere from two to eight weeks. Meanwhile, her team will face some ferocious opponents like top-ranked Mountain View and perennial power Alta.

"We are in school," Fremont coach Larry Hadley said. "This is an educational process . . . We're young, and hopefully by January, we'll be a little bit more seasoned."

Mechel Hunt played well with six points and five rebounds for the Silver Wolves.


E-mail: adonaldson@desnews.com