April 14, 2024
Basketball

Caitlin Clark: Is She The Greatest Women’s Basketball Player Ever?

Caitlin Clark

Caitlin Clark has set the basketball world on fire. The University of Iowa star, who has declared for the WNBA Draft, has been setting the college basketball record books on fire.

Here Are Some Interesting Facts About Caitlin Clark

Caitlin Clark impressed Kevin Durant when she was just 16

Who the hell is this player?” asked Kevin Durant on what he thought was going to be an ordinary day in 2018. The NBA legend, sitting in the stands of a pavilion in Chicago, had gone to enjoy a day of basketball. However, what was just another event on his busy schedule became an unforgettable Sunday thanks to a 16 year old Clark. “She is the best player in the country,” was the reply that Durant received. And that conversation, one of those that are often had in small tournaments and are constantly forgotten after the fact, remained etched in KD’s memory. So recorded, in fact, that he still remembers it today every time he has the chance on podcasts and social networks.

Steph Curry is a fan of Caitlin Clark

The curious thing is that his reaction was identical to that experienced by thousands of fans at some point in the last three years. The shots from far beyond the three point line, her ability to take step back jumpers without apparent effort or the stops in the middle of the offensive transition to chain them with impossible triples, have made Caitlin Clark an incredibly popular player. “You never take a bad shot if you make them like she does,” Steph Curry acknowledged last March. Clark, in many ways, plays like Steph Curry and has infinite shooting range like him.

Caitlin Clark plays winning basketball

Caitlin Clark might seem like a player who showboats a lot, but she always plays winning basketball. Caitlin Clark’s personality encompasses all facets of the game, including leadership.

Caitlin Clark works very hard

Despite interest from the best universities, she decided to attend her native university of Iowa. The formula? The job. Even sometimes taking it to the extreme, because she never understood gray. Either she was the best or she couldn’t be one more, even in her formative stages when she was competing among boys. She sees the game differently than most other players.

Caitlin Clark is a great playmaker

If all this sounds special, what is shown with her passing skills should not be placed in a lower step. Where some see an Iowa base, she feels hooked within it. The position of 10, the team’s midfielder. That figure in charge of giving the last pass on the green of the soccer fields, a sport that she was never bad at and that she ended up giving up for basketball, with total freedom to give free rein to the creativity of her head. 

Caitlin Clark is a huge fan of Pete Maravich

That mentality, together with her total passion for Pete Maravich’s game, has ended up forming a player who does not rule out a single angle when it comes to finding her teammates. Nor any distance to shoot. As if it were a piano solo, the other great passion of her adolescence, everything flows at a superior, different, special rhythm. The speed at which her mind works is staggering. Coincidentally, Caitlin Clark also broke Pete Maravich’s all time NCAA scoring record recently.

Caitlin Clark has propelled Iowa to the national stage

Off the court, at 21 years old, Clark has become a cultural phenomenon. Mainly in Iowa, where madness broke out as her first season progressed. The Hawkeyes, known for being a program that rarely filled its stands, began to do so regularly. However, just two years later, that reality is also distant: all season tickets for the 23-24 season were sold in August. Three months before the first match was played.

Caitlin Clark is the biggest star in Iowa

During the most recent games, scenes of passion and madness for the great star of the NCAA have been happening. At an Iowa Cubs (baseball) game, the team organized a pre-match program between its fans and the basketball player near the stadium. The queue went on for more than 600 metres, which caused a waiting time of more than an hour for the last people to arrive. A little later, with the preseason just around the corner, Iowa broke the all-time record for spectators at a women’s basketball game: 55,656. The event, for charity, featured its local star as the main face. The ticket collection exceeded $200,000.

Caitlin Clark’s games glue people to the TV

But it would be unfair to limit her influence to her home state. The Hawkeyes base has become a very important focus for the rest of the universities, causing some like Northwestern, which will play Iowa at the end of January 2024, to announce in October that all tickets had already been sold. The next step in a natural trend that has been observed since last year, when television audiences progressively skyrocketed in the Iowa games until reaching the peak in March Madness.

Caitlin Clark was a part of the most watched women’s college basketball game in history

With Caitlin Clark completely unleashed on the court, reaching peaks of confidence rarely seen before, Iowa advanced to the NCAA national final against LSU. The team of the always controversial and experienced Kim Mulkey, who had Angel Reese as an absolute star for her newly created squad. ESPN rubbed its eyes, as well as its hands, with the results of that game. The clash reached close to 10 million viewers on average and exceeded 12.5 million at its peak audience. It is the most-watched women’s college basketball game in history.

Caitlin Clark is making a lot of NIL money as well

All this has caused Clark, who didn’t even have 20k followers at one time, to surpass the one million followers mark on Instagram now. The same figure that she is expected to surpass, but this time in financial terms, in her NIL contracts (name and image), thus becoming one of the highest paid players in the world thanks to her signing with brands like Nike. 

The famous American multinational company closed its agreement with the young woman from Iowa along with other names such as Bronny James (USC), Juju Watkins (USC), Haley Jones (WNBA) and DJ Wagner (Kentucky). Five names, four of them university students, who have been protagonists of an unprecedented situation: Nike is selling their team t-shirts with their respective names on the back. A detail that may seem minor but is transcendental, since it had never happened with university players.

Caitlin Clark is a consensus #1 WNBA Draft Pick

Looking towards the future, the 12 WNBA franchises are not losing sight of each of their steps. Nor the one that will arrive in San Francisco in 2025 and even the one that may end up being created in Denver or Charlotte. While waiting for a new and very suggestive generation of what in the United States they call ‘combo guards’ (players who can go to 1 and 2), everything will be conditioned by the decision that Caitlin Clark makes. 

The first pick in the Draft has her name written on it since last year, but we still had to wait to find out if it is in 2024 or 2025. “It’s really not something I think about every day. The most important thing is that I am going to trust my instinct,” she said at the beginning of the season. Another one in which Iowa will experience a roller coaster of extreme sensations. Nothing more and nothing less than those produced by Caitlin Clark every time she jumps onto a basketball court. However, on March 1, 2024, Caitlin Clark announced her decision to enter the 2024 WNBA Draft. 

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