Iowa Women's Basketball

Iowa recruit Shateah Wetering is 'sleeker' and now a legitimate outside threat

Originally recruited as a power forward, Montezuma star now projected as a small forward

Montezuma's Shateah Wetering drives around Saint Ansgar's Maggie Davis (31) during their Class 1A quarterfinal game at t
Montezuma's Shateah Wetering drives around Saint Ansgar's Maggie Davis (31) during their Class 1A quarterfinal game at the girls' high school state basketball tournament at Des Moines on March 4. Wetering will play at the University of Iowa. (Rebecca F. Miller/The Gazette)

MONTEZUMA — Lisa Bluder couldn’t wait to share her excitement.

The University of Iowa women’s basketball coach had just viewed signee Shateah Wetering in a game last winter.

Wetering wasn’t what Bluder expected.

She was better.

“We had recruited her as a power forward,” Bluder said. “When I saw her last season, I was so excited. I called my assistants and said, ‘We have a 3 here.’”

A “3” is a small forward. A “3” can play about anywhere on the floor.

Simply put, a “3” is an athlete. And Wetering, absolutely, is an athlete.

Here’s a reminder on Wetering’s track-and-field prowess, since her final spring season was canceled due to COVID-19. She finished second, third and second in the Class 1A state 400-meter dash, including a 57.28-second effort as a junior.

That’s some serious turnover, especially for a 6-footer.

Wetering also was fourth in the 200 (26.77 seconds) last year and anchored a pair of relays that placed high. Montezuma was third in the 1A team race last year, and the Bravettes figured to be the favorite this year before the season was scrapped.

“I miss all the girls. Senior year was my last shot,” she said. “I try not to think about it too much, because it makes me sad.”

Wetering committed to Iowa during her sophomore season. At the time, the word “project” seemed applicable. As a freshman, she averaged a modest 7.8 points per game. As a sophomore, 13.5.

“She was a very raw athlete then,” said Bravettes Coach Janel Burgess, who played basketball for Iowa State. “She has a lot of tools in her tool kit now; she just has to keep sharpening them.

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“There’s no doubt in my mind that Stateah is going to be one of those surprise recruits. She’s very athletic, and Iowa does a tremendous job developing kids.”

Wetering concluded her high-school career with 1,558 points. She played in three state tournaments, and her team was 82-16 in the past four seasons.

As a senior, she averaged 23.2 points, 6.7 rebounds, 4.2 assists and 3.0 steals per game as the Bravettes went 23-2.

The most striking development in Wetering’s game comes from the perimeter. In her first three seasons, she shot 23.0 percent (41 of 178) from 3-point range. As a senior, that figure jumped to a very respectable 37.6 percent (47 of 125).

“I realized I should be shooting a lot more,” she said.

Wetering has continued her shooting regimen; a nearby church parking lot has a hoop.

“There’s a lot of space there, and I pretty much have it to myself,” she said.

She is taking two online community-college classes — public speaking and statistics — and has begun the training regimen sent by Bluder and her staff.

“I’m running a lot. And I’m doing a lot of upper-body strength,” Wetering said. “The push-ups ... I really struggle with that. It’s challenging, and I’m glad it is.”

Iowa’s incoming class of 2020 consists of blue-chip guard Caitlin Clark, efficient post Sharon Goodman, combo guard Lauren Jensen, and Wetering.

Her role? Athlete. And maybe, a surprise.

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“She has good passing skills, she looks sleeker and her 3-point shot has improved a lot,” Bluder said. “She’s going to be a really good small forward for us.”

Comments: (319) 368-8857; jeff.linder@thegazette.com

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