BYU Women’s Basketball Signs First Big 12 Recruiting Class

Nov 13, 2022, 1:54 PM | Updated: 3:48 pm
BYU Women's Basketball, Amber Whiting...
BYU women's basketball head coach Amber Whiting signed four players in her first Signing Class. (Joey Garrison/BYU Photo)
(Joey Garrison/BYU Photo)

PROVO, Utah – One of the big reasons Amber Whiting was hired to be the BYU Women’s Basketball head coach is her ability to recruit.

The former State Champion coach in Idaho at Burley High has many recruiting connections through her time around prep basketball and the AAU circuit.

As BYU prepares to go into the Big 12 Conference on July 1, 2023, recruiting needs to be among the best in the nation to win in that league. BYU got a glimpse of the high-level talent Whiting was able to secure in her first recruiting class.

“I am really excited about 2023 class,” BYU head coach Amber Whiting said. “These ladies are special. They are high-character kids that play the game because they love it. They each have that defensive first mentality and aren’t afraid to work hard. Individually they bring something that compliments each other. I am looking forward to getting them all here and going to work.”

Whiting’s BYU program signed four recruits in the 2023 class. Heading into the first day of the signing period, ESPN had BYU’s four commits in consideration for a Top 25 class.

Amari Whiting is the blue-chip recruit

The four players that BYU signed are led by Whiting’s daughter, Amari Whiting. Whiting is a 5-foot-10 guard from Burley High School in Idaho. She was set to play at Timpview High in Provo this year, but she tore her ACL.


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Whiting is the No. 33 overall prospect on ESPN’s Top 100 recruit rankings. Before flipping her commitment to BYU to play for her mom, Whiting was previously committed to play for the University of Oregon in the Pac-12 Conference.

“The thing that makes Amari special is that she is a defensive dog that loves the fight. Amari relies on her defensive pressure to kickstart her game. She’s a fierce competitor that plays both ends of the floor and does whatever it takes to help her team win,” said Amber Whiting. “She takes challenges head on and has a contagious competitive spirit that will be a game changer for us heading into the Big 12.”

The rest of the class includes Marina Mata, a 6-foot-2 forward from Spain, Lone Peak High guard Kailey Woolston, and Gatorade Nevada Player of the Year Ali’a Matavao from Henderson, Nevada. Matavao, a 6-foot forward, was Whiting’s first official scholarship offer after replacing Jeff Judkins in May.

BYU Women’s Basketball 2023 Recruiting Class

  • Maria Mata | 6-2 | Forward | Barbastro, Spain
  • Ali’a Matavao | 6-0 | Forward | Henderson, Nevada
  • Amari Whiting | 5-10 | Guard | Burley, Idaho
  • Kailey Woolston | 5-10 | Guard | Lone Peak High School

Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for and host of the Cougar Tracks Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and Cougar Sports Saturday (Saturday from 12–3 p.m.) on KSL Newsradio. Follow him on Twitter: @Mitch_Harper.

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