Iowa’s Caitlin Clark Speaks Candidly About Her Growing Fame
Caitlin Clark has always shown her talents on the basketball court but the 2022-23 season was something completely different. She helped lead the Hawkeyes to a championship appearance which catapulted her into the national spotlight. Her performance last year on the court was one of the greatest single seasons in the history of college basketball, for men and women.
Her performance in the NCAA women's basketball tournament was also one of the greatest statistical tournament runs in the history of college basketball. One of the greatest shooters in NBA history, Steph Curry said "No shot is a bad shot when you can shoot as well as she can."
John Cena, who is one of the most popular WWE wrestlers of all time, showed her some love on social media saying "They can't guard you" during the Hawkeye's run in the NCAA tournament last season.
We might be a little biased in Iowa but I think it'd be fair to say she is one of the most popular basketball players in the U.S. and the Hawkeyes women's basketball team has turned into a national favorite. On October 15, the Hawkeyes shattered the record for attendees at a women's college basketball game with 55,646 fans piling into Kinnick Stadium. Everyone seems to want the chance to watch her and her team play.
Caitlin is obviously aware of the attention she's been getting over the past year and a half, and she's been handling it with style and grace. She talked to ESPN about her growing fame.
A Dream That Has Come True
This has been my dream. Maybe I didn't understand I would get such a big spotlight, but this is the level I wanted to play on. It's probably not something I'll ever experience the same way again after I leave here. Because I grew up in this state. I stayed here, and we were able to do this for the people in this state. … So many people came up to me saying, ‘Watching you guys made our winter so much better.' I don't think you can top the level of pride that I feel when I put on an Iowa jersey.
If Anyone Can Handle It She Can
University of Iowa's Head coach, Lisa Bluder, also spoke to ESPN about Caitlin. If anyone can stay grounded and handle the national spotlight, Caitlin can. Lisa said
I think if anybody can handle it, she can handle it. The stars lined up right for her. She came around at the right time in the right place. With NIL, with becoming one of the faces of college basketball.
Iowa Hawkeyes 2023-2024 Season
Last year the Iowa Hawkeyes played in the national champion game and as everyone Iowan knows, they lost to LSU 102-85. Can the team make another run in the NCAA tournament? Caitlin believes they can. How can the Hawkeyes repeat the success of last season? Caitlin said they need to be different. She told ESPN
We need to be different. We're going to be different. We can still be a really, really successful basketball team. The biggest thing for me, that I'm trying to live by, is just instilling confidence in them. They bring a lot of really good things to this team. As a point guard, you just have to continue to give them the ball.
Due to the COVID season in 2020-2012, Caitlin will have the opportunity to stay with the University of Iowa during the 2024-2025 season, which would make it her 5th year with the Hawkeyes. When she decides to leave, it's pretty much a guarantee she will be the first pick selected in the draft, to play in the WNBA. In early October, she told ESPN that she would "trust her gut" on when it's her time to leave Iowa.
When Caitlin decides to head to the WNBA, she will be remembered as one of the greatest college athletes of all time and one that Hawkeye fans will love, and remember forever. Caitlin grew up in West Des Moines and made the choice to play college basketball for the University of Iowa. She stayed close to home and has given so many Iowans memories that will last a lifetime.
The Hawkeyes enter the season ranked as the 3rd best team in the nation and they begin their season on November 6th. They will take on FDU at Carver-Hawkeye Arena with the jump ball at 6:30
During the 2022-2023 season, fans took days off of work to watch and welcome the Hawkeyes basketball team and it's incredible to see how humble, thankful, and talented Caitlin really is. Lisa Bluder was right. If anyone can handle the national spotlight with style and grace, she can.
Our Favorite Caitlin Clark Photos
Gallery Credit: Getty Images
Our Favorite Photos From Iowa's Run to the NCAA Championship Game
Gallery Credit: Getty Images