Caitlin Clark can take women’s basketball to a level never seen before | Caitlin

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Since the NCAA women’s basketball tournament final on Sunday drew more US television viewers than the men’s final for the first time in history, it has been hailed as a watershed moment for women’s sports in America. A vanguard of star players including Connecticut’s Paige Bueckers, LSU’s Angel Reese and Southern California’s JuJu Watkins have lifted the profile of the women’s game to unprecedented heights over the past few months while recalibrating expectations for how all women’s sports can be covered, commercialised and consumed.

But none of them have commanded the national consciousness quite like Caitlin Clark, the ponytailed once-in-a-generation talent from the University of Iowa whose modest 6ft frame belies her outsized impact on college basketball and American sports at large.

The 22-year-old native of West Des Moines, who broke Pete Maravich’s 54-year-old record to become the all-time highest scorer in major college basketball history earlier this year, carried Iowa all the way to the final, repeatedly setting new TV ratings benchmarks along the way. After the Hawkeyes were denied a storybook ending by South Carolina in Sunday’s title game, despite Clark leading all scorers with 30 points, Gamecocks’ head coach, Dawn Staley, had barely started her victory speech at Cleveland’s Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse before paying tribute to the woman of the moment, saying: “I want to personally thank Caitlin Clark for lifting up our sport. She carried a heavy load for our sport and it’s not going to stop here.”

Caitlin Clark’s greatest moments

12 November 2019 – Committing to the University of Iowa A prodigy who first drew attention from college programs when she was in seventh grade, Clark initially signed a letter of intent to play for two-time national champions Notre Dame before committing to the less prestigious Hawkeyes for an opportunity to build something special closer to home.

26 February 2023 – Buzzer-beater to stun Indiana Clark’s national profile levelled up midway through her junior season when she drained a clutch three-pointer at the death to topple a Hoosiers team ranked second in the nation.

31 March 2023 – Spoiling South Carolina’s perfect season in the Final Four Not simply happy to be there after leading Iowa to the school’s first Final Four in three decades, Clark poured in 41 points to spark a famous upset of a South Carolina team who entered the contest undefeated.

15 February 2024 – Becoming NCAA women’s basketball’s all-time scoring leader Needing only eight points to surpass Kelsey Plum as the NCAA women’s career scoring leader, Clark made history in style before a delirious home crowd at Carver-Hawkeye Arena; she broke the record with a 35-foot logo three less than three minutes in and finished with a career-high 49 points in a defeat of Michigan.

7 April 2024 – Setting new TV ratings record for third time in eight days After drawing a record 12.3 million US…

Read More: Caitlin Clark can take women’s basketball to a level never seen before | Caitlin 2024-04-13 07:32:00

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