Caitlin Clark

Caitlin Clark (born January 22, 2002) is an American professional basketball player for the Indiana Fever of the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA).

She played college basketball for the Iowa Hawkeyes and is regarded as one of the greatest collegiate players of all time. Clark is the NCAA Division I all-time leading scorer and was a two-time national player of the year with the Hawkeyes. She was selected first overall by the Fever in the 2024 WNBA draft.

Caitlin Clark
Clark with Iowa
Clark with Iowa in 2024
No. 22 – Indiana Fever
PositionPoint guard
LeagueWNBA
Personal information
Born (2002-01-22) January 22, 2002 (age 22)
Des Moines, Iowa, U.S.
Listed height6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
Listed weight152 lb (69 kg)
Career information
High schoolDowling Catholic
(West Des Moines, Iowa)
CollegeIowa (2020–2024)
WNBA draft2024: 1st round, 1st overall pick
Selected by the Indiana Fever
Playing career2024–present
Career history
2024–presentIndiana Fever
Career highlights and awards
Stats at Basketball-Reference.com
Medals
Women's basketball
Representing the Caitlin Clark United States
FIBA Under-19 World Cup
Gold medal – first place 2021 Hungary Team
Gold medal – first place 2019 Thailand Team
FIBA Americas Under-16 Championship
Gold medal – first place 2017 Argentina Team

Clark attended Dowling Catholic High School in her hometown of West Des Moines, Iowa, where she was named a McDonald's All-American and rated the fourth-best player in her class by ESPN. In her freshman season with Iowa, she led the NCAA Division I in scoring and earned All-American honors. As a sophomore, Clark was a unanimous first-team All-American and became the first women's player to lead Division I in points and assists in a single season. In her junior season, she was the national player of the year and led Iowa to its first national championship game. Clark again led Division I in assists and set Big Ten single-season marks in points and assists. As a senior, she repeated as national player of the year and helped Iowa return to the national title game. Clark became the women's Division I career and single-season leader in points and three-pointers and broke the all-time conference record in assists, while leading the nation in both points and assists.

At the youth international level, Clark has won three gold medals with the United States, including two at the FIBA Under-19 Women's World Cup, where she was named Most Valuable Player in 2021. During her college career, she helped popularize women's basketball, with her games surpassing attendance and television viewership records for the sport.

Early life

Clark was born on January 22, 2002, in Des Moines, Iowa, and grew up in West Des Moines. She started playing basketball at age five and competed in boys' recreational leagues, because her father could not find a girls' league for her age group. Clark also played softball, volleyball, soccer, tennis, and golf as a child before focusing on basketball. At age 13, she began playing several years ahead of her age group in girls' leagues. In sixth grade, Clark joined All Iowa Attack, an Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) basketball program based in Ames, Iowa, for whom she played until graduating from high school. She was coached by Dickson Jensen with Attack, and her AAU teammates included future Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) player Ashley Joens. Clark drew inspiration from Maya Moore of the Minnesota Lynx, the closest WNBA team to her hometown, and traveled with her father for three-and-a-half hours to see their games. She admired All Iowa Attack alumnus Harrison Barnes and became a fan of the North Carolina Tar Heels after Barnes joined the program.

High school career

Clark played four years of varsity basketball for Dowling Catholic High School in West Des Moines under head coach Kristin Meyer. As a freshman, she averaged 15.3 points, 4.7 assists and 2.3 steals per game. She earned Class 5A All-State third-team accolades from the Iowa Newspaper Association and All-Iowa honorable mention from The Des Moines Register. Clark led her team to a 19–5 record and the Class 5A state tournament, where they lost to eventual champions Valley High School in the first round. In her sophomore season, she averaged 27.1 points, 6.5 rebounds, 4 assists and 2.3 steals per game, ranking second in the state in scoring. Clark was named first-team Class 5A All-State by the Iowa Print Sports Writers Association (IPSWA) and Central Iowa Metro League Player of the Year by The Des Moines Register. She helped Dowling reach the Class 5A state quarterfinals and achieve a 20–4 record. Following the season, she led All Iowa Attack to the Nike Elite Youth Basketball League championship, scoring 23 points in a 64–61 victory over the Cal Storm in the final.

On February 4, 2019, during her junior season, Clark scored 60 points in a 90–78 win against Mason City High School. Her 60-point game was the second-highest single-game point total in Iowa five-on-five girls' basketball history, surpassed only by Abby Roe in 1996. She also set the state single-game record with 13 three-pointers. On February 25, Clark set the Class 5A state tournament single-game scoring record with 42 points in a 75–70 triple-overtime win over Waukee High School in the quarterfinals. She helped Dowling reach the semifinals of the tournament and finish with a 17–8 record. As a junior, Clark led the state in scoring and averaged 32.6 points, 6.8 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 2.3 steals per game. She was named Iowa Gatorade Player of the Year and repeated as a Class 5A All-State first-team selection by the IPSWA. As a senior, Clark averaged 33.4 points, eight rebounds, four assists and 2.7 steals per game, leading the state in scoring for a second time. Her team finished with a 19–4 record and reached the Class 5A regional final, where they were upset by Sioux City East High School. Clark finished her career with the fourth-most points (2,547) and the sixth-most three-pointers (283) in Iowa five-on-five history. She was awarded Iowa Gatorade Player of the Year, Des Moines Register All-Iowa Athlete of the Year, and Iowa Miss Basketball, while making the IPSWA Class 5A All-State first-team. Clark was selected to compete in the McDonald's All-American Game and the Jordan Brand Classic, two prestigious high school all-star games, but both games were canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In her first two years at Dowling, Clark was a starter on the school's varsity soccer team but focused on basketball for her final two years. In her freshman season, she scored 23 goals and was named to the Class 3A All-Iowa team by The Des Moines Register.

Recruiting

Clark was recruited by NCAA Division I basketball programs before starting high school, receiving her first letter of interest from Missouri State before seventh grade. By her sophomore season at Dowling Catholic, she was ranked the number one player in the 2020 high school class by ESPN. At the end of her high school career, Clark was considered a five-star recruit and the fourth-best player in her class by ESPN. Clark's family had wanted her to choose Notre Dame, and she made a verbal commitment to the school's then-head coach Muffet McGraw. However, Clark never signed a National Letter of Intent with the school, and soon reconsidered, announcing on November 12, 2019, that she would commit to play college basketball for Iowa over offers from Iowa State and Notre Dame. Clark was drawn to the team's up-tempo style of offense and head coach Lisa Bluder's development of point guards. She also expected to immediately have a key role on the team with the departure of Kathleen Doyle, the reigning Big Ten Player of the Year.

College career

2020–21: Freshman season

Clark entered her freshman season as Iowa's starting point guard. On November 25, 2020, she made her collegiate debut, recording 27 points, eight rebounds, and four assists in a 96–81 win over Northern Iowa. In her second game, on December 2, Clark posted her first double-double with 30 points and 13 assists in a 103–97 victory over Drake. On December 22, in a 92–65 victory over Western Illinois, she registered the first triple-double by an Iowa player since Samantha Logic did so in 2015. Despite shooting 3-of-15 from the field, Clark had 13 points, 13 rebounds, and 10 assists during the game. On January 6, 2021, she recorded 37 points, 11 rebounds and four assists in a 92–79 win against Minnesota. Clark posted a season-high 39 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists in an 88–81 win over Nebraska on February 11, breaking the single-game scoring record for Pinnacle Bank Arena, the home venue of Nebraska. On February 28, she scored 18 points and had a season-high 14 assists in an 84–70 win over Wisconsin. At the end of the regular season, Clark was a unanimous Big Ten Freshman of the Year and first-team All-Big Ten selection. She was a 13-time Big Ten Freshman of the Week, setting a conference record, and led the Big Ten with five Player of the Week awards.

Clark helped Iowa achieve a runner-up finish at the Big Ten tournament, where she was named to the all-tournament team and recorded 37 assists, the most in the event's history. In the second round of the NCAA tournament, she posted 35 points, seven rebounds and six assists in an 86–72 win over Kentucky. She broke program single-game records for points and three-pointers (6) in the tournament. Iowa reached the Sweet 16, where Clark scored 21 points in a 92–72 loss to first-seeded UConn. She was named a first-team All-American by the United States Basketball Writers Association (USBWA), a second-team All-American by the Associated Press (AP) and made the Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) Coaches' All-America team. Clark became the first freshman to win the Dawn Staley Award, which honors the best Division I guard. She shared two major Division I freshman of the year awards with Paige Bueckers of UConn: the Tamika Catchings Award, presented by the USBWA, and the WBCA Freshman of the Year award. As a freshman, Clark averaged 26.6 points, 7.1 assists, and 5.9 rebounds per game. She led the NCAA Division I in scoring and ranked second in assists and three-pointers per game. Her totals in points, assists, field goals and three-pointers also led Division I. She set program freshman records for points and assists and had the fourth-highest scoring average in Iowa history.

2021–22: Sophomore season

Caitlin Clark 
Clark during her 46-point game against Michigan in 2022

On November 9, 2021, Clark made her sophomore season debut, recording 26 points, eight rebounds and six assists in a 93–50 win over New Hampshire. On January 2, 2022, she posted 44 points and eight assists in a 93–56 win over Evansville. Clark broke the Carver–Hawkeye Arena women's single-game scoring record and surpassed Kelsey Mitchell of Ohio State as the fastest Big Ten player to reach 1,000 career points. On January 16, 2022, she recorded her fourth career triple-double, with 31 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists in a 93–83 victory over Nebraska. In her next game, four days later, Clark posted 35 points, 13 rebounds and 11 assists in a 105–49 win over Minnesota. She became the first Division I men's or women's player to record consecutive triple-doubles with at least 30 points and the first women's player in Big Ten history with consecutive triple-doubles. On January 25, Clark had 18 assists, which set program and tied conference single-game records, in addition to 20 points and seven rebounds in a 107–79 win against Penn State. On January 31, she recorded 43 points, seven assists and four rebounds in a 92–88 loss to Ohio State. On February 6, Clark scored a season-high 46 points, including 25 in the fourth quarter, and had 10 assists in a 98–90 loss to Michigan. She set the women's single-game scoring record for Crisler Center, the home arena of Michigan. After leading Iowa to a share of the Big Ten regular season title, she was unanimously named Big Ten Player of the Year and first-team All-Big Ten by the league's coaches and media.

On March 5, 2022, in the semifinals of the Big Ten tournament, Clark recorded 41 points and nine rebounds in an 83–66 win over Nebraska. She led Iowa to the title and was named the tournament's most outstanding player (MOP). Her team was upset by 10th-seeded Creighton in the second round of the NCAA tournament, where Clark was held to a season-low 15 points and 11 assists, shooting 4-of-19 from the field, in a 64–62 loss. She was a unanimous first-team All-American: she earned first-team All-American honors from the AP and the USBWA, and was a WBCA Coaches' All-America Team selection. Clark became the first back-to-back recipient of the Dawn Staley Award and won the Nancy Lieberman Award as the top Division I point guard. As a sophomore, she averaged 27 points, eight rebounds and eight assists per game. Clark was the first women's player to lead Division I in points and assists per game in a single season. She also led Division I in total points, free throws and triple-doubles.

2022–23: Junior season

Entering her junior season, Clark was a unanimous 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. On November 18, 2022, she suffered an ankle injury with 3.8 seconds left in an 84–83 loss to Kansas State, where she recorded 27 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists. Clark played in Iowa's next game against Belmont on November 20, scoring 33 points in a 73–62 victory. On December 1, she scored a season-high 45 points in a 94–81 loss to NC State. Three days later, Clark posted her seventh career triple-double, with 22 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists in a 102–71 win over Wisconsin. She surpassed Samantha Logic as the Big Ten career leader in triple-doubles. On December 21, in her 75th game, Clark tied Elena Delle Donne of Delaware as the fastest Division I women's player to reach 2,000 career points since the 1999–2000 season, scoring 20 points in a 92–54 win over Dartmouth. On January 23, 2023, Clark recorded 28 points, 15 assists and 10 rebounds in an 83–72 win over AP No. 2 Ohio State, who were previously unbeaten. On February 2, she had 42 points, eight assists and seven rebounds in a 96–82 victory over Maryland. On February 26, Clark recorded 34 points, nine rebounds and nine assists, making a game-winning three-pointer at the buzzer, in an 86–85 win against AP No. 2 Indiana. At the end of the regular season, she repeated as Big Ten Player of the Year in a unanimous vote and was named first-team All-Big Ten by the league's coaches and media.

Caitlin Clark 
Clark with Iowa at the 2023 Big Ten tournament

Clark led Iowa to its second consecutive Big Ten tournament championship, where she earned MOP honors. In the title game, she recorded 30 points, 17 assists and 10 rebounds in a 105–72 win over Ohio State, the first triple-double in the final of the tournament. Clark moved to second in Division I women's history behind Sabrina Ionescu of Oregon with her 10th career triple-double. In the Elite Eight of the NCAA tournament, she recorded 41 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds in a 97–83 win over Louisville. She became the first player in men's or women's tournament history to record a 30 or 40-point triple-double. During the game, Clark became the first Division I player to record at least 900 points and 300 assists in a single season. For her performance, Clark was named the Seattle 4 Regional MOP as Iowa reached its first Final Four since 1993. In the Final Four, she posted 41 points, eight assists, and six rebounds in a 77–73 upset win over undefeated defending champion South Carolina, ending their 42-game winning streak. She broke the single-game scoring record for the women's tournament semifinals and became the first player in tournament history with consecutive 40-point games. Clark also surpassed the program and Big Ten single-season scoring records held by Megan Gustafson. With the win, Iowa advanced to their first women's basketball championship game in program history. Though Clark had 30 points and eight assists against LSU in the national championship, Iowa lost the game, 102–85. She made eight three-pointers, the most by a men's or women's player in the title game. Near the end of the game, LSU star Angel Reese followed Clark, making a "you can't see me" gesture implying that Clark could not keep up with her, and also pointing to her ring finger in reference to LSU's imminent championship ring. Reese received considerable criticism for the gestures, which many in the media viewed as unsportsmanlike. However, many also defended Reese's gestures and trash talk, highlighting a double standard, as Clark had made the same gesture at a previous game and did not face similar criticism. Clark herself defended Reese over criticism about the gesture. In coverage of this incident, journalists and the public have commented on the roles of race and gender in perceptions of sportsmanship. With 191 points in the tournament, Clark broke the men's and women's scoring records for a single NCAA tournament. Her 60 assists were the most by a player in women's tournament history.

Clark won all major national player of the year awards: AP Player of the Year, the Honda Sports Award, the John R. Wooden Award, Naismith College Player of the Year, USBWA National Player of the Year and the Wade Trophy. She was the first unanimous national player of the year in Big Ten history. Clark won the Nancy Lieberman Award for a second time and became the first three-time winner of the Dawn Staley Award. She was a unanimous first-team All-American for a second straight season, earning first-team recognition from the AP and USBWA and making the WBCA Coaches' All-America Team. As a junior, Clark averaged 27.8 points, 8.6 assists and 7.1 rebounds per game, leading Division I in assists and ranking second in scoring. She set Big Ten single-season records in points, assists, three-pointers and free throws, and tied her own conference record with five triple-doubles. She had the fourth-most points and assists and the third-most three-pointers in a season in Division I history. Following the season, Clark won the Best Female College Athlete ESPY Award and the Honda Cup, both honoring the top women's college athlete, and the James E. Sullivan Award, presented annually by the AAU to the top college or Olympic athlete in the United States. She was selected as the Big Ten Female Athlete of the Year.

2023–24: Senior season

Caitlin Clark 
Clark on the sidelines at Crossover at Kinnick in 2023

Entering her senior season, Clark was named preseason Big Ten Player of the Year and earned unanimous AP preseason All-American honors. On October 15, 2023, she played in Crossover at Kinnick, a preseason exhibition game against DePaul at Kinnick Stadium, and had a triple-double of 34 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists in a 94–72 win. The game had an attendance of 55,646, which set the women's basketball record. In her second regular season game, on November 9, Clark posted 44 points, eight rebounds and six assists in an 80–76 win over AP No. 8 Virginia Tech. In Iowa's third game, a 94–53 blowout of Northern Iowa on November 12, Clark recorded her 12th career triple-double, with 24 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds. She became Iowa's all-time leading scorer, passing Megan Gustafson, and became only the second player in Division I history with a triple-double in four different seasons, joining Ionescu. One week later, she recorded 35 points, 10 assists, six rebounds and seven steals in a 113–90 win over Drake, passing Kelsey Plum of Washington for the most 30-point games in women's Division I history.

Caitlin Clark 
Clark in 2023

On December 6, 2023, Clark became the 15th Division I player to reach 3,000 career points and was the second-fastest to reach the mark, posting 35 points, nine rebounds and five assists in a 67–58 victory over Iowa State. On December 16, Clark scored 38 points and made nine three-pointers in a 104–75 win over Cleveland State. Three days later, she shared Sporting News Athlete of the Year honors with Angel Reese. Later that week, Clark was announced as the runner-up to gymnast Simone Biles for the AP Female Athlete of the Year award. On December 21, in Iowa's final non-conference game, she recorded a triple-double of 35 points, 17 rebounds, and 10 assists in the Hawkeyes' 98–69 win over Loyola Chicago. In her next game, on December 30, Clark posted 35 points and 10 assists in a 94–71 victory against Minnesota, surpassing Samantha Prahalis of Ohio State to become the Big Ten's all-time leader in assists. During that game, she also eclipsed Samantha Logic for the program record in the same category. On January 2, 2024, Clark scored 40 points and made a long, game-winning three-pointer as time expired in a 76–73 win over Michigan State. Three days later, she posted 29 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists in a 103–69 win over Rutgers. On January 8, Clark was named Big Ten Player of the Week for the 24th time in her career, breaking the conference record held by Gustafson. In her following game, she registered her second consecutive triple-double, with 26 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists in a 96–71 victory against Purdue. On January 21, Clark recorded 45 points and seven assists in a 100–92 overtime loss to AP No. 18 Ohio State. After the game, as Ohio State fans were rushing the court, she was knocked down in a collision with a fan but did not suffer an injury, despite initially appearing to be in pain.

Caitlin Clark 
Clark at the 2024 Big Ten tournament final

On January 31, 2024, Clark posted 35 points and 10 assists in a 110–74 win over Northwestern, breaking the Big Ten all-time scoring record held by Kelsey Mitchell of Ohio State. In February, Fox began devoting a camera, called the "Caitlin Cam," to record Clark during its broadcasts of Iowa games and to stream on TikTok. She became the sixth Division I women's player with 1,000 career assists during the Hawkeyes' 82–79 loss at Nebraska on February 11, where she tallied 31 points, 10 assists and eight rebounds. On February 15, Clark became the NCAA Division I women's career scoring leader, surpassing Kelsey Plum, during a 106–89 win over Michigan. She finished the game with a career-high 49 points, 13 assists and five rebounds, eclipsing Gustafson for the program single-game scoring record. Between her points and assists, Clark was responsible for 79 of her team's points, the most by any Division I women's player in at least 25 seasons. On February 28, Clark passed Lynette Woodard, who played for Kansas in the era when the Association of Intercollegiate Athletics for Women governed women's college sports, to become the all-time leader in points among major women's college players. During the game, she posted her second straight triple-double, with 33 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds, leading the Hawkeyes to a 108–60 win over Minnesota. She also set the Big Ten career record for three-pointers, surpassing Kelsey Mitchell, and the NCAA single-season record in the same category, previously held by Taylor Pierce of Idaho. In her final regular season game, on March 3, Clark became the NCAA Division I all-time leading scorer among men's or women's players, eclipsing Pete Maravich, who had set the men's scoring record in three seasons with LSU. She tallied 35 points, nine assists and six rebounds in a 93–83 win over AP No. 2 Ohio State. She finished the regular season as the unanimous Big Ten Player of the Year and earned first-team All-Big Ten honors from the league's coaches and media.

Caitlin Clark 
Clark at open practice before the 2024 national championship game

During the Hawkeyes' quarterfinal win over Penn State at the 2024 Big Ten tournament, Clark surpassed Stephen Curry of Davidson and Darius McGhee of Liberty for the most three-pointers in a single season by any Division I player regardless of gender. In a semifinal win over Michigan, she became the first Division I women's player to score at least 1,000 points in two different seasons and passed Mitchell as the career leading scorer in the Big Ten tournament. Clark led Iowa to its third straight Big Ten tournament title and was named MOP after recording 34 points, 12 assists and seven rebounds in a 94–89 overtime win over Nebraska in the final. In the second round of the NCAA tournament, Clark scored 32 points and surpassed Kelsey Plum for the most points in a single season in Division I women's history, leading Iowa to a 64–54 win over West Virginia. The Elite Eight saw a rematch of the 2023 national championship game against LSU, where Clark had 41 points, 12 assists and seven rebounds in a 94–87 victory, leading the Hawkeyes to their second straight Final Four and a school-record 33 wins and being named Albany 2 Regional MOP. Her nine three-pointers tied the most by a player in an NCAA tournament game. She surpassed Taylor Robertson's record of 537, set in five seasons at Oklahoma, to become the all-time Division I leader in three-pointers. Clark also broke NCAA tournament career marks in assists and three-pointers, held by Temeka Johnson of LSU and Diana Taurasi of UConn, respectively. In the Final Four, she posted 21 points, nine rebounds and seven assists in a 71–69 win over UConn, as Iowa reached the national championship game for a second consecutive season. Clark had 30 points, eight rebounds and five assists in an 87–75 loss to South Carolina, the number one overall seed, in the title game. She scored 18 points in the first quarter, the most by a player in a single period in championship game history. She also surpassed Chamique Holdsclaw of Tennessee for the NCAA tournament career scoring record.

Clark was named national player of the year for her second straight season, receiving AP Player of the Year, the Honda Sports Award, the John R. Wooden Award, Naismith College Player of the Year, USBWA National Player of the Year and the Wade Trophy. For a third time, she won the Nancy Lieberman Award as the top Division I point guard and was named a unanimous first-team All-American. In her senior season, Clark averaged 31.6 points, 8.9 assists and 7.4 rebounds per game, leading Division I in scoring and assists. She finished with the highest career scoring average (28.42) in Division I history, passing Patricia Hoskins of Mississippi Valley State. Clark left Iowa with the most career points (3,951) and three-pointers (548), the second-most triple-doubles (17) and the third-most assists (1,144) in Division I history. Following the season, it was announced that Iowa would retire her jersey number 22, making her the third player in program history to receive the honor.

On February 29, 2024, Clark announced that she would declare for the 2024 WNBA draft, forgoing her fifth season of eligibility, which was granted to all players during the 2020–21 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic. She was projected to be the first overall pick in the 2024 WNBA draft by many publications, including ESPN, USA Today and CBS Sports.

Professional career

On April 15, 2024, Clark was selected as the first overall pick of the 2024 WNBA draft by the Indiana Fever. 12 days later, on April 27, the Fever signed Clark to their rookie scale contract. She made her regular season debut with the team on May 14.

National team career

Junior national team

Clark represented the United States at the 2017 FIBA Under-16 Women's Americas Championship in Buenos Aires, Argentina. She came off the bench and averaged 8.8 points per game, helping her team achieve a 5–0 record and win the gold medal. Clark played at the 2019 FIBA Under-19 Women's Basketball World Cup in Bangkok, Thailand. In seven games, she averaged 5.3 points per game and won another gold medal, as her team finished with a 7–0 record. Clark competed at the 2021 FIBA Under-19 Women's Basketball World Cup in Debrecen, Hungary and led the United States to the gold medal. She averaged a team-high 14.3 points, 5.6 assists, and 5.3 rebounds per game, was named Most Valuable Player and made the All-Tournament Team.

Senior national team

In March 2024, Clark was one of 14 players, and the only college player, to receive an invitation from the United States national team to the final training camp for the 2024 Summer Olympics. However, she was unable to attend this camp as it occurred during the same week that she was playing with Iowa in the Final Four of the 2024 NCAA tournament. Due Clark's absence at this camp, the Olympics selection committee stated they would follow her performance in the early 2024 WNBA season to help determine their final 2024 Olympic roster for Team USA.

Player profile

Listed at 6 feet 0 inches (1.83 m), Clark plays point guard, and writers have noted her great size for her position. She is praised for her versatility, particularly on offense, with The Washington Post columnist Jerry Brewer stating that no player in the men's or women's game "checks every offensive box" as distinctly as her. Clark has the ability to score in the paint, in mid-range and from three-point range. Her shooting range has been lauded by analysts; she often makes shots from well behind the three-point line and with a high degree of difficulty. Her shooting has often drawn comparisons to National Basketball Association (NBA) player Stephen Curry. Analysts have also praised Clark's passing ability, which The Athletic writer Sabreena Merchant described as being "equally audacious" as her shooting. She can pass ahead in transition and find her teammates through defensive traffic. Her combination of scoring and passing skills helps her excel in the pick and roll. Writers have likened Clark's talent and personality to Diana Taurasi. Iowa head coach Lisa Bluder compared her to Sue Bird and Sabrina Ionescu. Clark has modeled parts of her game after Maya Moore, LeBron James, Kevin Durant and Pete Maravich.

Legacy

Caitlin Clark 
Clark signing autographs after a game in 2024

Widely considered a generational talent, Clark is described as one of the greatest women's college basketball players of all time by many publications. ESPN analyst Rebecca Lobo called her the best offensive women's college player since Diana Taurasi. In part due to her unprecedented shooting range and proficiency among female players, Clark has been labeled a transformative player in women's basketball. Her impact on the women's game is likened to that of Stephen Curry on the men's game. USA Today stated that she, like Curry, has "redefined what a good shot is in basketball." The Wall Street Journal columnist Jason Gay wrote: "Clark is far from the first great shooter in women's basketball, but she's the one who is changing the dimensionality of the game, because of the distance she can shoot from and how well she can pass."

Clark was credited with popularizing women's basketball during her college career, a phenomenon known as the "Caitlin Clark effect." Publications attributed increases in attendance and television viewership for the sport to Clark. Richard Deitsch of The Athletic noted that Clark attracted a wider audience to the 2023 NCAA tournament because of her long-range shooting, confident playing style and Middle American appeal. She helped the national championship game become the most-viewed women's college basketball game in history (9.9 million). During her senior season, her team sold out all of its home games for the first time in program history and set the women's basketball attendance record (55,646) at a preseason exhibition game. Each team hosting Iowa during the regular season set an attendance record, with an average attendance increase of 150%, and the 2024 Big Ten tournament sold out for the first time.

During Clark's final season at Iowa, regular season games featuring her became the most-viewed women's basketball games of all time on six different TV networks—the Big Ten Network, ABC, Fox, FS1, NBC, and Peacock. Her last regular season game, in which she surpassed Maravich's Division I career scoring record, was the most-watched regular season women's basketball game since 1999, as well as the second-most watched college basketball game of the season (including men's games). At the 2024 NCAA tournament, Clark's final three games each broke the women's college basketball viewership record, culminating with 18.9 million viewers for the national championship game. It was the most-viewed basketball game at any level since 2019 and the first women's NCAA tournament final to draw more viewers than the men's final.

Career statistics

Legend
  GP Games played   GS  Games started  MPG  Minutes per game
 FG%  Field goal percentage  3P%  3-point field goal percentage  FT%  Free throw percentage
 RPG  Rebounds per game  APG  Assists per game  SPG  Steals per game
 BPG  Blocks per game  TO  Turnovers per game  PPG  Points per game
 Bold  Career high  *  Led Division I  °  Led the league
 ‡  WNBA record

WNBA

Regular season

Caitlin Clark WNBA Regular Season Statistics
Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG TO PPG
2024 Indiana 5 5 31.5 .403 .326 .913 4.6 5.8 .6 1.0 5.8 17.8
Career 5 5 31.5 .403 .326 .913 4.6 5.8 .6 1.0 5.8 17.8

College

Caitlin Clark NCAA statistics
Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG TO PPG
2020–21 Iowa 30 30 34.0 .472 .406 .858 5.9 7.0 1.3 .5 4.8 26.6*
2021–22 Iowa 32 32 35.9 .452 .332 .881 8.0 8.0* 1.5 .6 4.8 27.0*
2022–23 Iowa 38 38 34.4 .473 .389 .839 7.1 8.6* 1.5 .5 4.2 27.8
2023–24 Iowa 39 39 34.8 .455 .378 .860 7.4 8.9* 1.8 .5 4.7 31.6*
Career 139 139 34.8 .462 .377 .858 7.1 8.2 1.5 .5 4.8 28.4

Off the court

Personal life

Clark's father, Brent Clark, is a sales executive at Concentric International and played basketball and baseball at Simpson College. Her mother, Anne Nizzi-Clark, who is of Italian descent, is a former marketing executive and the daughter of former Dowling Catholic High School football coach Bob Nizzi. She has an older brother, Blake, who played college football for Iowa State, and a younger brother, Colin. Her cousin, Audrey Faber, played college basketball for Creighton. Two of Clark's uncles are former college athletes: Tom Faber played basketball for Drake and Utica, and Mike Nizzi played football for Nebraska–Omaha. She is in a relationship with Connor McCaffery, who played basketball and baseball for Iowa and is the son of Hawkeyes men's basketball head coach, Fran McCaffery.

Clark majored in marketing at the University of Iowa, graduating in May 2024. In her sophomore year, she was named a first-team Division I Academic All-American by the College Sports Information Directors of America, since renamed College Sports Communicators (CSC). As a junior, Clark was honored by the CSC as the 2023 Division I Women's Basketball Academic All-American of the Year before winning the same award for all Division I sports. At the end of her senior year, Clark again was named the CSC's Division I Women's Basketball Academic All-American of the Year, completing her college career with a 3.64 GPA.

Clark is an avid golfer, having played the sport since her childhood. In July 2023, she played in the John Deere Classic Pro-Am at TPC Deere Run alongside professional golfers Zach Johnson and Ludvig Åberg.

Clark is a practicing Catholic. She is a parishioner at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church in Des Moines. While in high school at Dowling, she attributed the school's "special culture" to its emphasis on prayer and the ability to "live our faith every day."

Business interests

Caitlin Clark 
Clark with "Jake from State Farm" in a promotion for State Farm in 2023

Clark is represented by Excel Sports Management. She was estimated to be one of the highest-earning college athletes from name, image, and likeness (NIL) deals. By the end of her career at Iowa, college sports website On3 estimated her NIL valuation as $3.4 million, the most among women's college basketball players and the fourth-most among college athletes. On August 18, 2021, she signed her first NIL deal with The Vinyl Studio, a company based in West Des Moines, Iowa. Clark signed with Nike on October 10, 2022; she has often worn shoes from the company's Kobe Bryant signature shoe line. On October 10, 2023, she became a spokesperson for State Farm and was the first college athlete to sign with the company. That December, Clark added Gatorade to her list of endorsements, joining Paige Bueckers as the only women's basketball players to sign with the company. As part of the deal, Gatorade donated $22,000, in reference to her number 22 jersey, to the Caitlin Clark Foundation, which aims to benefit youth and their communities through education, nutrition and sport. She is partnered with the Iowa-based supermarket chain Hy-Vee, which launched a cereal called "Caitlin's Crunch Time" at select stores in January 2024, with proceeds going to Clark's foundation, and has paid for private security to accompany her at some public events. She has also signed NIL deals with Bose, Buick, Goldman Sachs, H&R Block and Topps, among other companies.

During their years together playing at Iowa (2020–2023), Clark and teammate, Monika Czinano, were given the collective name "The Law Firm" by analyst Christy Winters-Scott.

On June 18, 2022, Clark threw out the first pitch for the Iowa Cubs, the Triple-A affiliate of the Chicago Cubs, of whom she has been a lifelong fan. She threw the first pitch for the Chicago Cubs on August 23 that same year. In the following year, the Iowa Cubs honored Clark with her own bobblehead night and the first pitch. She has also been a lifelong fan of the Kansas City Chiefs and appeared on the ManningCast for a Monday Night Football game featuring the Chiefs on November 20, 2023, becoming the first college athlete to appear on the broadcast.

In August 2023, the Iowa State Fair unveiled a life-size butter sculpture of Clark. She was one of three Iowa college athletes, alongside former football players Kurt Warner (Northern Iowa) and Jack Trice (Iowa State), whose sculptures were displayed. On February 22, 2024, the Iowa House of Representatives unanimously passed a resolution declaring February 22 as "Caitlin Clark Day" in the state, in reference to her jersey number. On March 5, members of Iowa's federal delegation, including senators Joni Ernst and Chuck Grassley and representative Mariannette Miller-Meeks, introduced a resolution to recognize Clark for breaking the NCAA Division I scoring record.

Clark was the subject of media attention ahead of the Iowa Republican presidential caucuses in January 2024. Before attending the Hawkeyes' home game against Minnesota, presidential candidate Nikki Haley praised Clark in front of a local crowd but mistakenly called her "Caitlin Collins". Writers speculated that Haley confused Clark's name with CNN anchor Kaitlan Collins, who joked about the incident on X. In the following week, Collins hosted an interview in Iowa with presidential candidate Ron DeSantis, who handed her a Clark jersey in reference to the incident.

On January 25, 2024, an autographed 2022 trading card featuring Clark sold for $78,000, the most ever for a women's basketball card. It was the second-most expensive card of a female athlete, behind tennis player Serena Williams. In February 2024, Clark became the top-selling college athlete on the online sports merchandise retailer Fanatics, surpassing Colorado Buffaloes quarterback Shedeur Sanders.

In March 2024, ESPN+ announced that an original docuseries, Full Court Press, executive-produced by Clark, would premiere in May 2024. During pre-production, it was Clark that insisted the docuseries include other college players, rather than only focus on her senior season. The series (produced by Peyton Manning’s Omaha Productions and Words & Pictures) follows Clark, South Carolina's Kamilla Cardoso, and UCLA's Kiki Rice throughout their 2023-24 season and post-season.

Clark appeared on the April 13, 2024 episode of Saturday Night Live. As part of a skit during the Weekend Update segment, she criticized co-anchor Michael Che's past sexist jokes about women's basketball and wrote new jokes for him to read aloud. She also paid tribute to former women's basketball stars, including Dawn Staley and Maya Moore.

Filmography

Overview of Caitlin Clark film and television credits
Year Title Role Notes
2023 Manningcast Herself Episode: "Philadelphia Eagles at Kansas City Chiefs"
2024 Saturday Night Live Episode: "Ryan Gosling"
Full Court Press 4-part docuseries; also executive producer

Records

    WNBA
  • Leader in turnovers in debut: 10
    Indiana Fever
  • Single-game leader in turnovers: 10
    NCAA Division I
    Iowa Hawkeyes
  • All-time leader in minutes played: 4,832
  • All-time leader in minutes played per game: 34.8
  • All-time leader in points: 3,951
  • All-time leader in points per game: 28.4
  • All-time leader in assists: 1,144
  • All-time leader in assists per game: 8.2
  • All-time leader in turnovers: 639
  • All-time leader in field goals made: 1,293
  • All-time leader in field goals attempted: 2,798
  • All-time leader in three-point field goals made: 548
  • All-time leader in three-point field goals attempted: 1,452
  • All-time leader in free throws made: 817
  • All-time leader in free throws attempted: 952
  • Single-season leader in minutes played: 1,359 (2023–24)
  • Single-season leader in points: 1,234 (2023–24)
  • Single-season leader in points per game: 31.6 (2023–24)
  • Single-season leader in assists: 346 (2023–24)
  • Single-season leader in assists per game: 8.9 (2023–24)
  • Single-season leader in turnovers: 185 (2023–24)
  • Single-season leader in field goals made: 412 (2023–24)
  • Single-season leader in field goals attempted: 886 (2023–24)
  • Single-season leader in three-point field goals made: 201 (2023–24)
  • Single-season leader in three-point field goals attempted: 532 (2023–24)
  • Single-season leader in free throws made: 239 (2022–23)
  • Single-season leader in free throws attempted: 285 (2022–23)
  • Single-game leader in points: 49 (February 15, 2024, vs. Michigan)[citation needed]
  • Single-game leader in assists: 18 (January 25, 2022, vs. Penn State)[citation needed]
  • Single-game leader in turnovers: 12 (February 8, 2024, vs. Penn State)[citation needed]
  • Single-game leader in field goals attempted: 34 (January 2, 2024, vs. Michigan State)[citation needed]
  • Single-game leader in 3-point field goals attempted: 20 (January 2, 2024, vs. Michigan State and April 1, 2024, vs. Louisiana State)[citation needed]

See also

Notes

References

Tags:

Caitlin Clark Early lifeCaitlin Clark High school careerCaitlin Clark College careerCaitlin Clark Professional careerCaitlin Clark National team careerCaitlin Clark Player profileCaitlin Clark LegacyCaitlin Clark Career statisticsCaitlin Clark Off the courtCaitlin Clark FilmographyCaitlin Clark RecordsCaitlin Clark

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