I’m sure we all recognize the name: Caitlin Clark. The nation’s best women’s basketball player this year. And the cool part is, she isn’t far from us; the star lives in our home state. I chose to write about Caitlin for Women’s history month because of her impact on young women in the basketball industry. She didn’t only break records, but she changed how people view the Women’s National Basketball Association. Caitlin’s history, record-breaking, and impact on women allowed her to change how women’s basketball is considered in today’s society.
Caitlin Clark was born in Des Moines, Iowa, on January 2nd, 2002. Anne Nizzi-Clark, Caitlin’s mom, is Italian while her dad, Brent Clark, is American. Her athletic genes came from her dad, who played college Basketball and Baseball at Simpson. Clark played many sports growing up; she participated in softball, soccer, tennis, and basketball. She went to Dowling Catholic High School and was a varsity basketball player. She impressed many people with the numbers she was putting up offensively, earning several accolades as a high schooler. Clark isn’t the only athletic one in her family. Her older brother, Blake Clark, plays football for Iowa State University, while her younger brother Colin, plays multiple sports at Dodge City High School. When Caitlin's high school season ended, she was considered the fourth best of the class of 2019 by ESPN. She announced she would play for the University of Iowa on November 12th, 2019, while having offers from Iowa State and Notre Dame.
Record Breaking and Awards
Caitlin played as a freshman at a Division 1 school. She led the NCAA in Division 1 scoring, was an All-American, and shared the freshman of the year honors. During Clark's sophomore year, her stats were insane. She broke the record of points and assists in a single season and got another All-American of the year. Now, Clark, a junior at the University of Iowa, finished her season on Sunday. Clark led the Iowa basketball team to victory in the Big 10 Championships; Iowa has only won thrice. She then led the team to a NCAA Basketball championship, breaking multiple records while performing during this tournament. Although they did not win, Clark was voted the Nations Player of the Year. Clark has also received other player of the year (POY) accolades: Naismith POY, AP POY, USBWA POY, Big Ten POY, Dawn Stanley Award Winner, Nancy Lieberman Award, and Wade Trophy winner. Throughout the NCAA Tournament, Caitlin scored 191 points, the most in men's and women's history. She scored 41 points, breaking the most in a game twice and breaking the assist record of 60. Clark was the sixth player in D-1 history to score 1,000 points in a single season. Overall a fantastic season performed by Caitlin Clark forever changed women's basketball. Check out more of Caitlin’s accomplishments.
The number of viewers drastically changed once Caitlin stepped on the court; women’s basketball has never had these views. Even though Iowa lost 102-85, Clark’s impact on basketball will not be lessened. Clark is being compared to Steph Curry by multiple commentators and gaining the most views women’s basketball has ever received. Clark’s entertainment to the public makes her the best showman, from shooting three-pointers far back on the court to her dominant trash-talking during the games. Over 6 million people watched last Friday’s semifinal game, where Clark scored 41 points again. Young people look up to Clark as a role model while older people tune in to see her dominate the game. After Sunday’s championship game, Clark breaks down after being asked about her legacy in an interview:
“I want my legacy to be the impact I have on young kids and the people in the state of Iowa. I hope I brought them a lot of joy this season. I hope this team brought them a lot of joy. I understand we came up one win short, but I think we have much to be proud of and much to celebrate. I was just that young girl, so all you have to do is dream, and you can be in moments like this.” - Caitlin Clark
Not Over Yet
Clark had a significant impact this past season, yet she is only a junior in college. She has also introduced using her COVID year and possibly having two years left to play college basketball. Her legacy isn’t even close to being done yet. Caitlin Clark has had a phenomenal season and made many accomplishments. Caitlin’s impact on her team and the country made her a fantastic player. The shows she puts on every game make people admire her even more. Caitlin Clark has impacted how women’s basketball is perceived. She was an amazing person to learn and inform about for Women’s history month.