Mattie Creager, daughter of Jon and Kathy Creager of Linrose, will spend her next two years playing basketball for the College of Idaho in Caldwell where she will major in psychology and minor in criminology with a basketball scholarship.
She recently signed to play for the Yotes under the same coach, Janis Beal, she had while attending Northwest College in Powell, Wyoming, on a similar basketball scholarship.
Creager impressed Coach Beal with her work ethic and selfless attitude while at Northwest, particularly after she was injured early in her sophomore year and spent much of the season on the bench.
“So excited to get the opportunity to coach Mattie for another two years,” Beal posted on Mattie’s facebook page after she signed.
“I chose to play for the Yotes because of the coach,” Creager said. “I love and hold dear the standards that she teaches and how she coaches.”
After graduating from Northwest Mattie chose to serve a fulltime mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Little Rock, Arkansas Mission.
“When I left for my mission I knew that I wanted to play ball after,” she said. “I knew that if I gave a year and a half to God, He would help me achieve my desires. I played street ball with a lot of kids while on my mission and used my talent to help relate to those around me, which helped solidify my desire of continuing my college basketball career after my mission.”
She kept in touch with Coach Beal while serving in Arkansas and when she returned home in March, Creager began planning her next steps knowing her previous coach was now at the College of Idaho. When the offer to play there was extended Mattie gladly accepted.
Though Creager played multiple sports while at West Side, she chose to continue with basketball. “My favorite thing about basketball is how no matter how good you are you can always become better,” she said. The sport also holds a deeply personal meaning for her.
“When I was about 15 my dad got deployed to Afghanistan,” Creager said. “This was his third deployment and not his last. He has had two more since and still has the chance of going on more. But during this third deployment I was really struggling with being mad at my dad for being gone. Then these two ladies come into my life, Abbie Beutler and Brooke Coats. They started playing basketball with me and helping me to run faster and become better at basketball. Basketball basically saved me while my dad was deployed.”
Creager is excited to get back on the court and hopefully the current pandemic will subside enough to allow that to happen.
“I am looking forward to being part of a team,” Creager said. “I love the team aspect of basketball; I love how coaches can take 15 players and help them play in unison help them become one.”