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Indiana Fever choose Caitlin Clark as first pick in WNBA Draft

NCAA scoring record-holder Caitlin Clark was widely expected as first pick, as rival Angel Reese also chosen as seventh pick in first round

Josh Marcus
San Francisco
Tuesday 16 April 2024 01:49 BST
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Caitlin Clark chosen as first pick in WNBA Draft

Caitlin Clark, the University of Iowa sensation and NCAA Division I all-time leading scorer was picked first in the WNBA draft on Monday by the Indiana Fever.

Clark, who helped carry the Hawkeyes to the national championship final this year, was widely expected to be chosen as the first pick.

Her Lousiana State University rival (and off-court friend) Angel Reese was also chosen in the first round, with the Chicago Sky drafting the power forward seventh overall.

Caitlin Clark is considered by many the most anticipated WNBA prospect in league history
Caitlin Clark is considered by many the most anticipated WNBA prospect in league history (Getty Images)

In an interview after taking the stage at New York City’s Brooklyn Academy of Music to accept her new jersey, Clark told ESPN she was “grateful” to be entering the WNBA, after foregoing her fifth year of college eligibility to enter the draft.

“I’ve dreamed of this moment since I was in 2nd grade,” the Iowa native said. “It’s taken a lot of hard work, a lot of ups and downs, but more than anything I’m just trying to soak it in.”

“I told my mom before this, ‘I earned it,’ and that’s why I’m so proud of it,” she added.

Expectations will be high for Clark, who holds the NCAA’s all-time scoring and assist records for men and women.

The Fever certainly hope she’ll continue her sensational run when she arrives in Indianapolis. The team hasn’t been to the playoffs in nearly a decade.

Iowa's Caitlyn Clark, left, poses for a photo with WNBA commissioner Cathy Engelbert after being selected first overall by the Indiana Fever during the first round of the WNBA basketball draft
Iowa's Caitlyn Clark, left, poses for a photo with WNBA commissioner Cathy Engelbert after being selected first overall by the Indiana Fever during the first round of the WNBA basketball draft (AP)

After the point guard’s pick was announced, players from the NBA’s Indiana Pacers squad shared a video on X welcoming Clark to the state.

The 22-year-old from West Des Moines, Iowa, is credited with helping increase viewership for NCAA women’s basketball.

During last month’s NCAA tournament, her lethal shooting ability and sharp passes helped attract record-setting audience numbers.

The final between Iowa and South Carolina attracted a peak of 24 million viewers, topping the men’s D1 final audience by millions and attracting the most viewers of any college basketball game since 2019.

The quarterfinal and semifinal legs of the tournament also broke records for women’s college basketball viewership.

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