Friday, May 23, 2008

Player Profile: Katie Feenstra

Name: Katie Feenstra
Born: November 17, 1982 (25)
Place of Birth: Grand Rapids, Michigan
Height: 6-8 (2.03 m)
Weight: 240 (108.9 kg)

High School: Grand Rapids Baptist High School, Grand Rapids, Michigan
Colleges: Liberty

Years Pro: 3

Position: Center

1) Scored 46 points in a game in high school
2) Missed the first 14 games of her college career due to a dislocated knee.
3) Big South all-time leader in blocked shots
4) One of only two players in NCAA history to lead the nation in field goal percentage in two consecutive seasons (2004-05) at Liberty.
5) First player in Big South history to be named Player of the Year three times.
6) Only player in the country to lead her conference in points, rebounds, blocks and field goal percentage as a senior.
7) Got to play alongside her sister, Maribeth Anderson, at Liberty.
8) Member of the 2007 USA Women's Basketball Team

Nickname: Kit, after the character from "A League of Their Own".

Profile: As they say in Wikipeida, Katherine Ruth Feenstra is one of the tallest players in WNBA history. She's in a tie for second tallest player ever (Zheng Haixia is the tallest ever) and she's the current active tallest player. She comes by her height honestly, the child of a 7-0 father and a 6-4 mother.

Most likely, however, Feenstra took more abuse because of her height than her religion. She was a foot taller than the other girls, and the abuse would rain down from the rafters whenever her high school played road cames.

Feenstra, however, toughed it out. At the end of her high school career, she wanted to go to a college where others shared her strong Christian beliefs. Despite big-name women's basketball programs knocking on the door, this left only places like Oral Roberts or Liberty.

Feenstra chose Liberty, where she majored in physical education. After her successful career at Liberty -- where the Flames actually made it to a Sweet Sixteen berth -- Feenstra plans on teaching and coaching.

After Liberty, Feenstra ended up with the Silver Stars, managing 8.8 points a game. One of the toughest adjustments for the somewhat sheltered Feenstra (in her words) was the fact that there are open lesbians in the WNBA. Rather than making a scene, Feenstra simply learned to deal with it and as far as we know, Feenstra's beliefs don't disrupt team chemistry. However, living in San Antonio gave her a chance to share both church attendance and faith with NBA player David Robinson.

Size, of course, brings its advantages and disadvantages. Feenstra wears a size 17 men's sneaker, so finding shoes that fit must be a chore. What's worse, Feenstra has been stalked, and more than once. I found some of the biographical info for this entry on a page for "amazons", written by someone who apparently had a fetish for tall women. (Author's note: Stalking is NOT COOL. If you don't know that, go back to kindergarden and/or get different parents to teach you.)

One interesting tidbit: Feenstra eats a mint before stepping out on court. Thank goodness that Feenstra hasn't been showered with mints tossed from the stands - although if I ever get to meet her, I might hand her one with a "good luck".

A worrisome fact is that Feenstra's minutes seem to increase with bad teams and decrease with better ones. Furthermore, she might be top ten in field goal percentage, but she's also top ten in turnovers. If Feenstra can hang on to the orange-and-white ball, this might be a good opening season for the Dream.

No comments: