Iowa women’s basketball’s freshmen impress on and off the court

The four freshmen on the team have impressed their coaches with their skills on the court and their handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Iowa+players+celebrate+after+scoring+during+a+women%E2%80%99s+basketball+game+between+Iowa+and+Penn+State+at+Carver+Hawkeye+Arena+on+Saturday%2C+Feb.+22%2C+2020.+The+Hawkeyes+defeated+the+Nittany+Lions%2C+100-57.

Hannah Kinson

Iowa players celebrate after scoring during a women’s basketball game between Iowa and Penn State at Carver Hawkeye Arena on Saturday, Feb. 22, 2020. The Hawkeyes defeated the Nittany Lions, 100-57.

Chloe Peterson, Sports Reporter


The freshmen of Iowa women’s basketball – Caitlin Clark, Sharon Goodman, Lauren Jensen, and Shateah Wetering – finished their high school basketball careers in less than ideal fashion. Many of their final tournaments were canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Caitlin Clark
Sharon Goodman
Shateah Wetering
Lauren Jensen

 

 

Now, Clark and company have come to Iowa City facing new challenges.

Because of COVID-19, the Hawkeyes have to wear masks at all times while practicing and undergo weekly testing and daily symptom checks before they can enter Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

Associate head coach Jan Jensen said that, despite an unfortunate ending to their high school careers and an unconventional beginning to their college careers, the freshmen have conducted themselves in a positive manner, and that has impressed the coaching staff.

“Is it odd? Yes. Is it hard? Yes,” Jensen said. “But every one of [the freshmen] has also said that everybody’s going through a hard time, everybody’s facing it. All of the other freshmen are too, not just the basketball players or athletes, but everybody in the country. And it’s that maturity that’s been really, really cool to see. And they’ve meshed in beautifully, because they haven’t been needy, we haven’t had to worry about them… They’re grateful for the opportunity, even though it’s odd.”

New COVID-19 regulations aren’t the only thing the freshmen have had to adjust to. They’ve also had to change their mentality from high school veterans to college newcomers.

RELATED: Iowa women’s basketball’s freshmen staying motivated through COVID-19

In high school, Iowa’s freshmen were their teams’ best players. However, on a Division I women’s basketball team, that is not the case.

“High school is just so glamorous for every student-athlete or every recruit, because you are the best on your team,” Jensen said. “You got almost every accolade there is and you were always, always doing it right… Here, they’re typically always the ones being corrected, because they don’t know our lingo, they don’t know the drills, they don’t know all the methods of which we are now requiring them to handle a screen. So that’s where it feels, I think, sometimes when you’re a freshman, like ‘woah, I used to be pretty good but now, what the heck.’”

Despite the constant coaching and corrections, Goodman believes success at the college level starts with managing expectations.

“There definitely are those days where you get frustrated with yourself and feel like you’re not performing where you should be,” Goodman said. “But the coaches are really great about building you back up and coaching you in a way that reminds you of why you’re there… It’s just remembering that you’re a freshman and remembering that you don’t know everything and you’re learning.”

Freshman forward Shateah Wetering said that, because she played multiple positions on her high school team, she’s still trying to find her footing as a forward at Iowa. However, Wetering said she feels like she fits in – even if she is still trying to find herself on the court.

“My teammates really encourage me on the good things and correct me on the things I need to work on,” Wetering said. “I’ve never really had that feeling yet, and hopefully I don’t, but I know that I belong here and they recruited me for a reason.”

Facebook Comments