Liberty Athletics Hall of Famer Katie (Feenstra) Mattera is returning to her alma mater as a women's basketball assistant coach, Head Coach Carey Green announced today.
Mattera previously served six seasons (2012-18) as head women's basketball coach at Cornerstone University in her hometown of Grand Rapids, Mich. She posted a 112-78 coaching record and guided the Golden Eagles to a pair of NAIA National Tournament appearances (2014 and 2018) and the 2018 Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference (WHAC) Tournament title. Mattera was named the WHAC Champions of Character Coach in both 2017 and 2018.
Mattera also spent the 2018-19 season as an assistant coach for the Liberty Christian Academy girls' basketball team.
Mattera replaces Monica Wright, who is now an assistant coach at her alma mater, Virginia.
"We are so excited to have Katie back," exclaimed Green. "Why not Liberty?! That was a phrase she coined during the 2005 NCAA Sweet 16 run when asked why she chose Liberty when she could have gone anywhere in the country. Katie is one of the faces of success in our program, but none stand any taller. She brings a passion for Liberty as well as for the basketball program."
Mattera led the Lady Flames to four straight Big South Conference titles and NCAA Tournament appearances during her time on the team, culminating with the aforementioned NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 run during her senior season (2004-05).
The 6-8 center became the Lady Flames' first NCAA Division I All-American, earning Associated Press honorable mention recognition as both a junior and senior. She was the first-ever three-time Big South Women's Basketball Player of the Year (2003, 2004 and 2005) and was named Big South Championship MVP during each of those seasons as well.
Mattera led the nation in field goal percentage in both 2003-04 and 2004-05, on her way to scoring 1,845 career points. She owns program records for career field goals made (764), field goal percentage (62.2) and blocked shots (257).
After graduating from Liberty in 2005, Mattera embarked upon a successful professional career. She was selected with the No. 8 pick in the first round of the 2005 WNBA Draft and went on to be a unanimous WNBA All-Rookie Team selection for the San Antonio Silver Stars. Mattera played five total seasons in the WNBA, totaling 1,000 career points and helping the Detroit Shock reach the 2007 WNBA Finals.
Mattera's five-year professional career also included time in China and South Korea. She represented Team USA in tournaments in Spain and Russia, helping her team win a silver medal in the 2007 FIBA World League Tournament.
Mattera is a part of three halls of fame, being inducted into the Grand Rapids Sports Hall of Fame (2012), Liberty Athletics Hall of Fame (2015) and Big South Conference Hall of Fame (2016).
"I don't believe there is anyone who could be a better representative and recruiter for our women's basketball program," Green added. "We expect Katie to have a major impact on the development of post play for our team. She will faithfully provide spiritual guidance to our team as a mentor."
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