Iowa coach Lisa Bluder and the Hawkeyes talk about Sunday's grit Dargan Southard/HawkCentral
IOWA CITY, Ia. — Moments after knocking off a ranked foe Sunday afternoon, the Iowa women’s basketball program received a bonus gift.
The Hawkeyes landed their first 2020 pledge in Montezuma sophomore Shateah Wetering, who committed on the Carver-Hawkeye Arena court following Iowa’s 82-72 win over then-No. 19 Michigan.
"I just always knew from the get-go really that I wanted to go here,” Wetering told Hawk Central. “I love the atmosphere here. It’s really nice.”
Wetering is averaging 12.1 points per game this year for Montezuma, but she really broke through this past summer in her first season with the All-Iowa Attack. After steady improvement from the spring into the summer, she shined during the July evaluation period.
“When July was over, we got a lot of phone calls on her — and Iowa stepped up,” Attack coach Randy Mauro said. “She made a visit, and Iowa offered. And I know a lot of other schools were getting ready to offer. Heard from a lot of schools, a lot of coaches who loved her, wanted to get her on campus, wanted to offer — but I think her first love has always been Iowa.”
Mauro pegged Wetering as a “stretch three or four”, whose raw athleticism, leaping ability and relentless work ethic has her in position to continue trending upward by the time she gets to Iowa. As part of an Attack team that went 20-3 in July and won multiple tournaments against high-end competition, Wetering more than held her own.
“She walked into a gym with a bunch of known products, kids who had already committed to colleges,” Mauro said. “She was walking in playing against the (likes of Missouri signee) Grace Berg and (Iowa State signee) Ashley Joens and those kids. And I think she had some doubt about, ‘Do I belong here?’
“But as the spring and summer went on, she just started to realize, ‘I do. I can play.’ She just got better and better, and she realizes now, especially with the offer from Iowa and now the commitment, that she belongs.”
Wetering said she’s known for a “couple months” now that Iowa was the answer. Officially cementing her future ahead of the new year made perfect sense.
“It was amazing just to get it off my chest,” she said. “It was great.”
Mauro doesn’t expect the decision to alter Wetering’s approach. She won’t be in Hawkeye colors for nearly three more years, leaving plenty of time to improve her overall profile as she readies for life in the Big Ten Conference.
Sunday is just the start.
“I think Shateah is one of those kids who realizes that with this commitment, it doesn’t mean anything,” Mauro said. “It doesn’t mean she’s arrived. It just means she knows what her future is going to be, which is great for a lot of young kids who want to know, ‘What’s my future?’ But she knows that she’s going to have to work really hard to play once she gets there.
“She’s a relentless worker. She knows that she has to get better each day, and she works very hard toward that. I would say she has tremendous upside.”
Dargan Southard covers preps, recruiting, Iowa and UNI athletics for the Iowa City Press-Citizen, The Des Moines Register and HawkCentral.com. Email him at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter at @Dargan_Southard.