Clark shoots 39.2 percent from the 3-point line and makes 27.3 points a game (ESPN).
Clark shoots 39.2 percent from the 3-point line and makes 27.3 points a game (ESPN).

Caitlin Clark’s impact on women’s basketball

Lady Hawkeyes progress to Final Four

March 27, 2023

The NCAA March Madness tournament is a time for basketball fans all across the country to come together and see who is the best in college basketball. Traditionally, the spotlight has always been on the men with the women’s tournament stuck in the background. In recent years, it seems like the girls are finally getting talked about as much as the boys are due to the plethora of fantastic players in the women’s program. There is one player, however, who is almost solely responsible for the newfound popularity of women’s basketball: Caitlin Clark. 

For those somehow unfamiliar with the All-American basketball machine that is Caitlin Clark, here is a quick rundown. She graduated from Dowling Catholic High School in 2020 and went on to continue her basketball career as a Hawkeye at the University of Iowa. Since then, Clark has led her team to back-to-back Big 10 Championship wins, she was the Big 10 player of the year for both 2022 and 2023, she is responsible for 49 percent of points that her team makes whether it be her personal field goals or assists to her teammates, she is the first woman to make over 900 points and 300 assists in the same season in Division I women’s basketball history; the list goes on and on. People call her the Steph Curry of women’s basketball, and Curry himself commented on Clark’s work: “No shot is a bad shot when you can shoot it as well as she can,” (Hawk Central). 

Clark also brought the Iowa Hawkeyes to their first final four since 1993. To put it in perspective, the WNBA didn’t even exist during that time. The fight to get that spot has been anything but easy on Clark, but she has brought her A-game time and time again. During Iowa’s win over Louisville on March 26, Clark made history once again with a 41-point, 10 rebound and 12 assist triple double. Not only was it the first 40 point triple double in the tournament’s history, but it was the first 30 point one as well. Watch highlights of the historic moment can be seen below. 

Looking away from stats, Clark also has a fire to her personality that her teammates say spreads to every single member of the team. She loves to get the crowd riled up and always succeeds in doing so. After the win over Louisville, Clark was asked to share her thoughts on her record-breaking triple double where she instead put the spotlight on her teammates and coaches. 

“I thought our team played really well, that’s what it’s all about. You know, I was gonna give every single thing I had. When I came here, I said I wanted to take this program to the final four and all you gotta do is dream, and all you gotta do is believe and work your butt off to get there. That’s what I did, that’s what these girls did and that’s what our coaches did. We’re going to Dallas, baby!” exclaimed Clark. 

Iowa is set to play March 31 against South Carolina, who hasn’t lost in over 40 games. The Lady Hawkeyes will have to fight harder than they ever have if they want to progress to the NCAA championship on April 2. It’s going to be a battle, but if anyone can lead the team to victory, it’s Caitlin Clark.

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