Home All Sports Caitlin Clark fever is taking hold of basketball

Caitlin Clark fever is taking hold of basketball

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Caitlin Clark in action playing for the Iowa Hawkeyes. Photo by John Mac
Caitlin Clark in action playing for the Iowa Hawkeyes. Photo by John Mac

Caitlin Clark is breaking game records, raising viewership levels and garnering attention to women’s basketball.

Women’s basketball is attaining more viewership and interest than ever before; former No. 22 Iowa Hawkeyes guard Caitlin Clark is a huge reason for the rise in women’s basketball popularity.

Clark is a playmaker with a long list of statistics to back her game up, recently becoming the No. 1 all-time leading scorer for both men’s and women’s college basketball.

In the four years Clark has spent with the Hawkeyes, she has accomplished an astounding amount of awards. Breaking records for the NCCA Clark became Iowa’s all-time leader in assists as well as the Big Ten Conference.

Caitlin Clark putting up a shot against rival Iowa St. this past season. Photo by MKC-T – Flickr, CC BY 2.0

Clark was awarded the preseason Big Ten Player of the Year and scored the most points in a women’s Division 1 season. Clark is certainly a player to watch over the next few years as she transitions to the WNBA.

Clark finished her last season for the Hawkeyes with 201 three-pointers in a single season, making her the first player in NCAA history to complete a season with over 200 three-point shots. Clark also beat Golden State Warriors Steph Curry’s own NCAA mark, when he hit a record  162 threes while playing for Davidson University during the 2007-2008 season. 

Averaging 31.9 points per game over a four-year career that included a total of 3,591 points, Clark has the ability to control the court in creating plays and movements. Not only does she direct the game on the court, Clark is known for crowd play as well. Often enticing the crowds for cheers, as well as some trash talk with players on opposing teams Clark knows how to keep the game interesting.

When Clark first started her basketball career at the University of Iowa, women’s basketball was nowhere near what it is today. Much of the focus on March Madness went to men’s college basketball, but that’s changed since Clark got her spot in the media limelight.

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In the 2023 season, Caitlin Clark and LSU forward Angel Reese faced off on the court, and began a rivalry that started to get the media and viewers into the NCCA. Reese pointed her ring finger toward Clark, while Clark retaliated with trash talk on the court. The media was in a frenzy over the star players.

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The two women approach the court in different ways. Clark has the ability to score points from the perimeter with deep threes, whereas Reese plays more centric and in the mix of the court. While the two players may have talked trash on the court, and have different playing styles, they come together in growing women’s basketball.

Reese and Clark are both strong competitors on the court, but have stated that the rivalry is strictly professional. Both Clark and Reese are shattering stereotypes and records for women in sports. 

The Iowa vs LSU game on April 1, 2024, drew in an average of 12.3 million ESPN viewers, and was the most-watched game in women’s college basketball history. The victory over LSU brought the Hawkeyes back to compete in the Final 4 in Cleveland. 

On April 9, 2024, 18.9 million viewers tuned in to watch the NCAA women’s basketball tournament finale. Yet another record-breaking amount of viewers to watch the face-off between the University of Iowa vs. the University of South Carolina.

After a painstaking loss for the Hawkeys to the University of South Carolina 87-75,

No. 22 Caitlin Clark finished her college career, and her jersey was officially retired for the Hawkeyes. What will we be seeing next of Caitlin Clark?

Clark entered the 2024  WNBA Draft, and as expected was selected as the No.1 overall pick by the Indiana Fever.

With Clark selling out arenas during her colligate career it is expected that she will do the same with her time with the Indiana Fever and her time in the WNBA. The Indiana Fever will now play at the Gainbridge Fieldhouse in the 2024 season which holds bigger crowds and other WBNA teams have moved games set against Indiana Fever to bigger venues.

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