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Iowa Hawkeyes Phenom and College Basketball Legend Caitlin Clark Declares for WNBA Draft

Iowa Hawkeyes Phenom Caitlin Clark Declares for WNBA Draft
Caitlin Clark. Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

The most famous college athlete in America is ready to go pro.

Caitlin Clark, the Iowa Hawkeyes guard who has taken the nation by storm with her prolific scoring, clutch shot-making and logo-distance range announced on Thursday, February 29, that she will enter the WNBA Draft after the 2023-24 college season.

Though Clark is a senior, she has one year of college eligibility remaining due to the so-called “COVID year” that the NCAA granted student-athletes in 2020-21. After already leading Iowa to the National Championship Game last season and breaking the women’s college basketball all-time scoring record, however, Clark feels she is ready for the next step.

“It is impossible to fully express my gratitude to everyone who has supported me during my time at Iowa,” Clark wrote via X on Thursday. “My teammates, who made the last four years the best; my coaches, trainers, and staff who always let me be me; Hawkeye fans who fill [Carver-Hawkeye Arena] every night; and everyone who came out to support us across the country, especially the young kids.”

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Clark also noted there’s much left to accomplish for her and the Hawkeyes this season before she turns her attention to the pros. Most imminently, Clark is just 18 points away from passing Pete Maravich’s all-time college basketball scoring record of 3,667 career points. She averages 32.2 points per game and has not scored fewer than 21 in a contest all season, so she will likely break that record the next time Iowa takes the court on Sunday, March 3, against Ohio State in a game that will air on Fox.

Iowa Hawkeyes Phenom Caitlin Clark Declares for WNBA Draft
Caitlin Clark. David Berding/Getty Images

From a team perspective, Iowa won’t be the favorite to win the 2024 National Championship — that honor will probably fall on South Carolina — but the Hawkeyes will be in the mix. They’re currently trending toward a top-three seed in March Madness and will be on the short list of Final Four candidates.

Regardless of who cuts down the nets this April, viewers will tune into the NCAA Tournament expecting to see Clark put on another show. She has become appointment television as she and the current crop of collegiate stars have elevated women’s college basketball to new heights over the past few seasons.

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She’s also selling out arenas nationwide. Tickets for the game against Ohio State are currently the most expensive on record for a women’s basketball game — college or pro, regular season or postseason. Opposing arenas that have hosted Iowa this season have drawn an average of 150 percent more fans against the Hawkeyes than other opponents.

The Indiana Fever have the first pick in the 2024 WNBA Draft and will almost certainly take Clark. The draft will take place on April 15 at the Brooklyn Academy of Music and will air live on ESPN.

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