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Caitlin Clark Selected by Indiana Fever in WNBA Draft


Caitlin Clark fever has come to Indiana.

The University of Iowa basketball star was predictably selected with the top pick of the WNBA draft on April 15 by the Indiana Fever.

After her name was called at the draft, held in Brooklyn, New York, Clark hugged her family sitting alongside her before approaching the podium to pose with an Indiana Fever jersey.

2024 WNBA Draft
Caitlin Clark poses with WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert after being selected first overall pick by the Indiana Fever during the 2024 WNBA Draft at Brooklyn Academy of Music on April 15, 2024 in New York City. Sarah Stier / Getty Images

“I got a little anxious there before the pick,” she said after the pick was made. “I’ve dreamed of this moment since I was in the second grade … I earned it and that’s why I’m so proud of it.”

Clark said her top goal for her first season in the WNBA is to be herself and “have fun.”

The Fever finished last in the WNBA’s Eastern Conference in 2023 with the league’s third-worst record (13-27) before winning the WNBA’s draft lottery in December to secure the No. 1 pick.

2024 WNBA Draft
Angel Reese and Caitlin Clark pose for a photo during the 2024 WNBA Draft on April 15, 2024 at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in Brooklyn, New York.Katherine Tyler / NBAE via Getty Images

They add the NCAA Division I’s all-time leading scorer in men’s and women’s basketball, who led Iowa to two straight appearances in the NCAA Tournament championship game.

Clark also set the NCAA Division I single-season record for 3-pointers made, scored the most points in a single season in women’s NCAA Division I history, and set the women’s record for the most career points in Division I NCAA Tournament games.

Clark’s long-range shooting, prolific scoring and pinpoint passing helped bring unprecedented attention to women’s college basketball.

The Hawkeyes’ loss to undefeated South Carolina in this season’s NCAA championship game marked the first time in history that the women’s title game had a higher television rating than the men’s championship game, where the University of Connecticut repeated as champions.

The Iowa-South Carolina game was the most-watched basketball game, men’s or women’s, college or NBA, since 2019, according to ESPN.

Following the championship game, South Carolina head coach Dawn Staley shouted out Clark for the attention she has brought to women’s basketball.

“I want to personally thank Caitlin Clark for lifting up our sport,” Staley said. “She carried a heavy load for our sport and it just is not going to stop here on the collegiate tour, but when she is the No. 1 pick in the WNBA draft, she’s going to lift that league up as well. Caitlin Clark, if you’re out there, you are one of the GOATs of our game and we appreciate you.”

Clark, 22, had one more possible year of eligibility at Iowa because of the extra year granted to athletes due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but elected to enter the WNBA draft.

Following her historic season, Iowa announced that it’s retiring Clark’s No. 22 jersey.

The WNBA is certainly looking to ride the wave of the Iowa native’s popularity, as the Fever will have 36 of their 40 games broadcast on national television this season, according to The Athletic. That’s more national telecasts than the defending WNBA champion Las Vegas Aces and last year’s runner-up, the New York Liberty.

Last season, the Fever only had one game on ESPN and had eight games where the only way to watch was streaming it on the team’s Facebook page, per The Athletic.

The WNBA season starts on May 14, and it may be an action-packed summer for Clark. She’s also a candidate to make the U.S. Olympic women’s basketball team that will compete in Paris in late July and August. The dominant Team USA has not lost an Olympic game since 1992 and has won seven consecutive gold medals.


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