February 29, 2024 

Iowa star Caitlin Clark declares for 2024 WNBA Draft

Clark is presumed to be picked first by the Indiana Fever

On Thursday, Iowa Hawkeyes senior guard Caitlin Clark announced on social media that she will enter the 2024 WNBA Draft. The reigning Wooden Award winner is putting up another outstanding season, with a per-game average 32.2 points, 7.4 rebounds and 8.7 assists, all while breaking several school, conference and even national records.

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“It is impossible to fully express my gratitude to everyone who has supported me during my time at lowa — my teammates, who made the last four years the best; my coaches, trainers, and staff who always let me be me; Hawkeye fans who filled Carver every night; and everyone who came out to support us across the country, especially the young kids,” Clark said in her post.

“Most importantly, none of this would have been possible without my family and friends who have been by my side through it all. Because of all of you, my dreams came true.”

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While the move has been anticipated for a while, it does put weeks of small anxiety to rest for the Indiana Fever, who won the WNBA Draft lottery back in December to get the No. 1 overall pick in the 2024 WNBA Draft. Still, this decision has been expected ever since that night, as The Next previously reported that Clark’s boyfriend — former Iowa men’s basketball guard Connor McCaffrey — works for the Indiana Pacers. They are owned by the same group that operates the Fever.

In case there was any doubt about the Fever’s intention with the top pick, the team posted on X, formerly known as Twitter, a very vague “No. 1” with an hourglass emoji, which Clark herself liked. The Fever also posted a season tickets post, telling fans to “hop on board” and sharing a countdown to the WNBA Draft.

Clark’s expected arrival should give the Fever a strong chance to reach the the playoffs for the first time since 2016, which was legend Tamika Catchings‘ final season before retiring. Pairing Aliyah Boston, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2023 WNBA Draft, with Clark could immediately elevate the Fever after a challenging few years.

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“Let’s get it!!!! Welcome to [Indiana], Caitlin,” Catchings said in a post on X.

Clark has been an instrumental player for Iowa over the past four years, helping the Hawkeyes become one of the top programs in the nation. She’s done that while also becoming one of the most famous college athletes in the country, drawing sellout crowds at every venue she plays — home or road.

On Feb. 15, Clark broke the record for most points scored in NCAA Division I women’s basketball history, surpassing former Washington Huskies star Kelsey Plum with a 3-pointer from the logo. That day, she finished with 49 points, an Iowa record, in Iowa’s win over the Michigan Wolverines.

Then, on Wednesday, Clark broke Kansas alum Lynette Woodard’s Division I scoring record of 3,649 points. She scored 33 points in the team’s win over Minnesota. Clark is just 18 points away from breaking Pete Maravich‘s all-time record across men’s and women’s Division I basketball.

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During her junior season, she received numerous accolades, including the 2023 Naismith College Player of the Year Award and the Wade Trophy. She also led the Hawkeyes to their first-ever appearance in the national championship game and their first Final Four since 1993.

The No. 6 Hawkeyes (25-4, 14-3 Big Ten) will honor Clark and her classmates on Senior Day on Sunday at Carver-Hawkeye Arena, ahead of a game against No. 2 Ohio State (25-3, 16-1 Big Ten).

Written by Aya Abdeen

Aya Abdeen is a student in sports journalism at Arizona State University and has been a contributing writer for The Next since December 2022. She is also a sports reporter for the Sun Devils’ women’s basketball team for The State Press. Her work has also appeared on AZPreps365.

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