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It was never a long shot
Caitlin Clark Shooting from the logo
Caitlin Clark Shooting from the logo

You’ve heard the name Caitlin Clark. Whether you’re a major sports fan or you have no clue what a free throw is, you know of the Iowa star’s recent rise to fame. 

Clark has been dominating in women’s college basketball since the 2020-2021 season. Since then, she has broken many records in NCAA basketball, breaking twelve in her senior year alone. Clark is in the WNBA after being the number one draft pick with Indiana Fevers picking her. 

Going from a five year old playing in boys rec leagues to a twenty-two year old playing in the WNBA is a long hard journey but she has made it seem like nothing. 

Clark has broken about 40 records since her freshman year in college

Early Athletic Years

Clark grew up surrounded by sports, having an older and younger brother to play with in their backyard and her dad who was a two sports collegiate athlete. She first started basketball with a group of boys in elementary school because of the limited opportunities for girls basketball teams. Clark also played volleyball, soccer, softball, tennis, golf, and the piano.

 However, growing up Clark’s main sports were soccer and basketball. She was a starter on her high school soccer team her freshman and sophomore year, but stopped playing to focus more on basketball. She was on the All Iowa Attack travel team which has been known to produce NCAA division 1 recruits. By the time of her sophomore year she was the top basketball prospect in the country. 

Clark got a number of awards for her athleticism in high school such as: Back to back Gatorade Iowa player of the year, and two time MaxPreps and USA Today All-American selection. Clark also played on the United States U19 Basketball team in the FIBA Basketball World cup in 2019 where she took home a gold medal. 

Clark was ranked fourth in the recruiting class of 2020 and she committed to Iowa on November 12, 2019 passing up schools like Notre Dame and Iowa state. 


College basketball didn’t seem to phase Clark one bit. In her freshman year she started 30 games and led the country in points scored, total assists, 3-pointers, and total field goals. She was the Big Ten Freshman of the Year and first team all-conference. 

Her Sophomore year she led Division 1 in points and assists as she was getting twenty-seven and eight per game; this making made her the first NCAA women’s player to do this. She was a finalist for the Naismith Women’s player of the year award, but was the runner up next to Aliyah Boston (South Carolina). 

Her Junior year Clark continued to grow as she was averaging 27.8 points, 8.6 assists, and 7.1 in rebounds per game. She led Division 1 in assists and was ranked second in scoring that year. She was also given the Best Female College Athlete ESPY Award, and the Honda cup. She was given the James E. Sullivan Award which is presented  by the AAU to the top college or Olympic athlete in the united states, and was selected as the Big Ten Female Athlete of the year. 

By her Senior year the county was tuning in to watch Clark play what would be an incredible season. Clark avenged 31.6 points, 8.9 assists, and 7.4 rebounds per game, and led Division 1 in scoring and assist. She finished her college career with the highest scoring average (28.42) in Division one history, surpassing Pactirca Hoskins (Mississippi valley state). She left Iowa with 3,951 career points, 548 three pointers, 17 second most triple doubles and 1,144 third most assists in Division 1 history. Following the end of the season Iowa has decided to retire Clarks number 22 jersey making her the third player in program history to receive this honor. 

 She also won numerous awards her senior year such as: Ap player of the year, the Honda sports, the John R Wooden, Naismith college player of the year, the Wades trophy, and for the third time, the Nancy Lieberman. She would go on to be the national player of the year for the second straight season in a row. 


March Madness 

Clark took Iowa to back to back national championship games. They lost both times, once to LSU with a score of 102-85, and this year to South Carolina with a score of 87-75. Despite the losses Clark had two incredible tournament runs. 

In the 2023 March Madness tournament Clark scored or assisted 64% of Iowa’s points. She was hitting threes from NBA range and did nolook bounce passes with ease. Clark scored 41 points in two games before the Championship. The first to advance into the final four against Louisville and then finally beating the previously undefeated South Carolina. This was Iowa’s first National Championship appearance. Clark scored 30 points, had 8 assists and 2 rebounds in the championship game.

In the 2024 Tournament Clark had an average of 31.8 points per game. Iowa took down team after team only struggling against UConn. The game against UConn had everyone on the edge of their seats as UConn controlled the first half of the game until Iowa finally found their rhythm in the 3rd quarter. Iowa won by two points that sent them to their second national championship. Clark scored 30 points, had 5 assists and 8 rebounds in her last NCAA Championship game against South Carolina. 


Broken Records 

Clark has broken about 40 records since her freshman year in college, with  a mixture of Division 1 records, Big Ten and Iowa’s women’s basketball program. Some of the major records that Clark has broken are:

  • Became the first Division I women’s player to score at least 1,000 points in two different seasons
  • Became the all-time NCAA Division I men’s and women’s scoring leader
  •  Set the Big Ten career record for 3-pointers
  • Broke the Big Ten all-time scoring record
  • Became Iowa’s all-time leader in assists
  • Became the first player in men’s or women’s NCAA tournament history to record a 30- or 40-point triple-double
  • Became the first Division I player to record at least 900 points and 300 assists in a single season
  • Broke the Carver-Hawkeye Arena women’s single-game scoring record
  • Passed Diana Taurasi for the most career 3-pt FG in NCAA tournament history


Catiln Clark is a remarkable player who has already made waves in the sports community and has so much in front of her. She is an inspiration to young athletes, anyone chasing their dreams, and is finally putting the well deserved attention back onto women’s sports. Clark continues her basketball journey with Indaian Fever and has her first game on May 14th against the Connecticut Suns. 


About the Contributor
Avery Bucklin
Avery Bucklin, Reporter
Quick and painful is the way to go