Caitlin Clark, Iowa’s sharpshooting guard, took the hoops world by storm when she led the Hawkeyes to the finals in the NCAA tournament. She scored 191 points throughout the tourney, which is the most in men’s and women’s history.
Her high level of play – with comparisons being made to Steph Curry and Pete Maravich – caught more than a few basketball experts by surprise. Here are some of the reactions to her play from NBA players, sports stars, and writers. Then, read on for Caitlin Clark’s background, NIL deals, and her own quotes.
The Basketball World’s Thoughts On Caitlin Clark
As Clark has made a name for herself, she has caught the attention of other great athletes and celebrities. The whole world was seemingly following Caitlin Clark during the NCAA Tournament.
1.) “No shot is a bad shot when you can shoot it as well as she can; when you watch them play, she just adds the element of surprise that you can’t really game-plan for… We know everything kind of centers around her, but she does a great job of scoring at a high level but also being a playmaker and distributor.”
2.) “She’s advanced, man.”
3.) “I want to give a lot of love to superstar Caitlin Clark after she recorded 41 points, ten rebounds, and 12 assists in Iowa’s over win over Louisville! She’s the first player ever to record a 40-point triple-double in a men’s or women’s NCAA Tournament game.”
4.) “When all is done, Caitlin Clark will be the greatest women’s college basketball player of all time.”
Pros React to Caitlin Clark
5.) “You obviously can’t leave her open. So the closer you are to her gives her more opportunity to create for herself and use that space to create for others. What’s really impressed me about Caitlin Clark’s court vision is a combination of things. You have to anticipate, which she does really well.”
6.) “She’s so COLD!!!!!!!”
John Cena on Twitter about Clark during the Elite 8 game
7.) “Haha! Bruh FR She’s so COLD!!!!! SHEESH”
LeBron James’ Response to John Cena on Twitter
8.) “OMG I can’t believe what I am watching in this 3S lady / SUPER -Sensational -Scintillating = CAITLIN CLARK! She’s way better than I thought.
9.) “I just watched Caitlin Clark in person, and she’s the REAL DEAL!!!”
10.) “The most thrilling player in March Madness weighs less than the equipment guy, swishes bombs from the logo, and won’t be playing on CBS. Caitlin Clark of Iowa is the best thing you’ll see on TV this weekend, incl. Ted Lasso. Fri 4:30 PT ESPN. Don’t miss Steph Curry in a ponytail.
Rick Reilly, former Sports Illustrated columnist
11.) “41 DUDE WHO DOES THAT!!!??”
12.) “Let’s gooooo!!! @CaitlinClark22“
Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs Quarterback, during an NCAA game
13.) “Caitlin is a PRO.”
Insights from Hoop Experts
14.) “She was on point. I mean, she was everything that we saw on film. She was everything, like assists, points, turnovers, all of them. She ran the gamut of who she is as a player, and she threaded the needle.”
Dawn Staley, South Carolina Women’s Basketball Coach
15.) “Caitlin Clark scored more points this March than Iowa’s football team scored all last season.”
The Sporting News
16.) “OMG CLARK DO YA THANG”
17.) “Clark so cold.”
18.) “She’s fearless. She’s always in balance.”
Steph Curry – See All About Steph Curry
19.) “Caitlin Clark is an absolute DAWG… it’s like she’s playing a different sport than everybody else.”
20.) “Caitlin Clark is tough.”
21.) “Everybody’s reaching out to me, ‘Bill, you’ve got to check out that Caitlin Clark from Iowa,’ … The women’s tournament is just spectacular.”
2023 Caitlin Clark NCAA Tournament Highlights Video
Caitlin Clark’s Background
Caitlin Clark was born on January 22, 2002, in Des Moines, Iowa. She attended Dowling Catholic High School in West Des Moines, where she instantly shined. But even before that, she was already a basketball star. When she was younger, she was always playing in boys’ leagues and even played AAU on a boys’ team.
Even then, she was the star, and other parents were upset with Caitlin and her family because she was receiving more playing time than all the other boys. In 2018 she helped win the EYBL Championship with her team, All Iowa Attack.
At Dowling Catholic, Clark was one of the top recruits in the country, a McDonald’s All-American, and even won 3 gold medals with Team USA. In her senior year, she was awarded Iowa Gatorade Player of the Year, Iowa Miss Basketball, and Des Moines Register All-Iowa Athlete of the Year, all while being named All-State for her fourth time.
As her years went on in high school, she continued to increase her numbers in points, rebounds and assists. She even scored a career-high 60 points in her junior year and finished her career with a total of 2,547 points.
Clark’s College Career
Clark went on to stay home and attend college at the University of Iowa. In her freshman year, she instantly took over college basketball. In her debut, she scored 27 points, and in just her second game, she had her first double-double with 30 points and 13 assists.
She took over college basketball, and by the time she finished up her freshman season, she was a 13-time Big Ten Freshman of the Week, Big Ten Freshman of the Year, first-team All-Big Ten selection, and led the Big Ten with five Player of the Week awards.
In her sophomore and junior year, she continued to run college basketball. In her sophomore season, she averaged 27 points, eight rebounds, and eight assists per game. She was a first-team All-American and won the Dawn Staley Award and the Nancy Lieberman Award.
Clark was the first women’s player to lead Division 1 in points and assists per game in a single season. She also led the division in total points, free throws, and triple-doubles. Before her junior year even started, Clark had earned a selection for the AP preseason All-America team and was named Big Ten preseason player of the year by the league’s coaches and media.
Big Ten Player of the Year
Once again, at the end of the season, Clark was named Big Ten Player of the Year and was named first-team All-Big Ten. Clark helped lead Iowa to its second straight Big Ten tournament championship. Here she earned MOP honors, and in the championship game, she posted 30 points, 17 assists, and ten rebounds.
Clark moved to second in Division I women’s history behind Sabrina Ionescu with her 10th career triple-double. In the Elite 8 and Final Four, she made history by posting back-to-back 40-point games, including one of them being a triple-double. To add to the fact, in the Final Four, the Hawkeyes took down the defending champs in South Carolina. This game ended South Carolina’s 42-game win streak. Unfortunately, the Hawkeyes fell short in the National Championship to LSU.
It’s safe to say that Caitlin Clark has made a name for herself. With players being able to make money off their Name-Image-Likeness and endorsement deals, it sure has worked out nicely for Clark. Being a superstar and a top player in the country, many companies want her to be associated with them. In fact, Clark makes a total of $3 million in endorsement deals with Bose, Buick, Hy-Vee, H&R Block, Goldman Sachs, Topps, and Nike.
The highest WNBA player makes less than $250,000. Clark is eligible for the draft, but she will likely return for her final two years, her senior year and COVID year. It’s hard to pass up that much money and a college education.
This is all new for everyone as players used to not be able to make money off their Name-Image-Likeness, but a recent ruling changed all of that. Players can now make money off of it, which they should be able to.
Caitlin Clark Quotes
Here are some of Caitlin Clark’s quotes on a variety of topics, including her team, leadership, and her legacy.
1.) “I think the biggest thing is it’s really, really special. I don’t think it’s going to set in for me for quite some time.”
2.) “I want my legacy to be the impact that I can have on young kids and the people in the state of Iowa, and I hope I brought them a lot of joy this season. I hope this team brought them a lot of joy.”
3.) “We have everybody back from our core that we could bring back. We had to make a decision — yeah, that (loss) stung — but at the same time, we’re lucky to have this group right here, so why not go work harder and re-write the script? Change the story of what happened to us.”
Talking about a loss in the NCAAW Tournament the previous season
4.) “All we did was believe in each other.”
5.) “We had some heart and belief, and we came through when we needed big plays.”
6.) “I have all the confidence in the world in this group, and they believe right back in me.”
More Clark Quotations
7.) “All we do is believe in each other and love each other to death, and that’s what a true team is. If you want an example of what a true team is, that’s what this team is. Coach Bluder knows how to create a team. You gotta create a culture where everybody’s valued. I’m just lucky to be a part of it.”
8.) “If you want to play women’s basketball, you come to the state of Iowa and play for Coach Bluder.”
9.) “We just won, and we didn’t play our prettiest basketball. Well, let’s celebrate that and use that going forward.”
(On the win over Georgia.)
10.) “Our fans are the best in the country. I know tickets are going to be super hard to get their hands on… I think we’re already over 10,000 (tickets sold), and they aren’t even on sale yet just because of season-ticket holders. It’s going to be a hard ticket to come by, which is really special and unique for women’s basketball.”
With two more years of college eligibility, Clark has more opportunities to add to her impressive resume.
By Mike O’Halloran and Emmett Swendseid
Mike is the founder and editor of Sports Feel Good Stories. He has written three books on youth basketball. Emmett is a sportswriter based in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
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