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The Echo

The student news site of St. Louis Park High School

The Echo

The student news site of St. Louis Park High School

The Echo

All eyes on the Hawkeye

Caitlin Clark’s rise to fame
All+eyes+on+the+Hawkeye

Caitlin Clark is a female basketball player on the Iowa Hawkeyes who has brought never before seen attention to the women’s side of basketball. This year, Clark has been averaging an unprecedented 31.9 points per game and 8.9 assists per game, first in both categories. She has now surpassed Kelsey Plum as the leading scorer in WNCAA history with 3,685 career college points scored. She is easily the best women’s college basketball player ever and is on track to go down as the best female basketball player of all time. Not only has Clark amassed an impressive stat line, but she has also acquired a very impressive highlight reel that has attracted a large variety of viewers.

A large cause of her rise to fame was the spread of her highlights among basketball fans. Many male basketball fans believed that no matter who it is, no female player will ever be as good as a male player because of the genetic differences that come with your sex. Clark is one of the first women to really break through this barrier and stun people with her insane shots and athleticism. We always find ourselves comparing female players to male players, but even the naysayers of female basketball find themselves respecting Clark and seeing her on a different level than they previously did. When people watch some of the clips of her that have been spread around, they can’t even find a male to compare her to because no one, male or female, is doing what she is doing. You would be hard pressed to find anyone hitting a step back three pointer from the logo and she seems to be doing it every game. Everywhere the Iowa team goes, sold out stadiums follow. When they came to Minnesota to play the Gophers, the game had been sold out for months in advance, just to see Caitlin Clark play. This kind of support had never been seen before in womens basketball and it has been drawing attention to women’s athletics of all kinds.

Despite the different leagues, people can’t help but compare women’s basketball to mens basketball and, because of Caitlin Clark, it seems like the women are winning. A clip of Shannon Sharpe talking about Clark has been fairly famous where he says he doesn’t think there has ever been a more complete college basketball player in college basketball history. The more well known part of the clip goes on to say that this is the first time in Shannon Sharpe’s life that he thinks he can name five women that play college basketball before he can name five men, due to the attention that Clark has received. I have a friend who had never watched a game of women’s basketball in his life, who turned on the TV to watch Clark break the scoring record, a game that set records itself as the most watched women’s basketball game in history. No team in the country can claim to sell out back to back stadiums, much less every single home and away game that they play in the way that Clark’s Hawkeyes can. She has not only risen to the occasion and the attention, but broke right through any expectations that people had of her and kept climbing. While it would defeat the purpose of the WNBA, many people are demanding that NBA teams start drafting her because of her insane skill set and game that could easily transfer into men’s basketball.

All of this attention is not only going to Caitlin Clark though. Other athletes like Sabrina Ionescu have also received a lot of attention recently for her three point shooting, which many believe is a product of the atmosphere that Clark has created. Ionescu had shot a near perfect three point contest in the WNBA skills challenge before the all star game and had broken the record that Steph Curry had set. Because of this display of skill, Steph challenged her to a three point shootout during the NBA skills contest. While Ionescu barely fell short of Currys 29 points, Ionescu shot from the men’s line for the first time, which is farther back, and still managed to put up an impressive 26 points which would have tied for first with the highest scorer in the men’s three point contest that year. As we look at the impending March Madness ticket prices, because of the chance that they might have to watch Caitlin Clark play, the price for a ticket to attend a women’s final four game has surpassed that of a men’s final four by over three times. This is the first time in history that it has cost more and it skyrocketed to triple.

Overall, the Caitlin Clark effect is real and it is not going away any time soon. Every sport needed a catalyst at some point to push them into the limelight. Mens basketball had Magic and Bird, Womens tennis had Billie Jean King and then Serena Williams, and Gymnastics had Simone Biles. Everyone had known about these sports beforehand, but no one really went out to watch them play until these greats entered the game and drew in thousands. Following these figureheads, their sports only took off from there and continued to gain traction as time went on and I don’t believe this is going to turn out any differently. Clark is just the beginning of an imminent wave of women’s basketball fans that will continue to grow as more and more greats enter the league and bring it to whole new heights. I can’t wait to see what happens next.

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About the Contributor
Thomas Halverson, Echo Staffer
Hi, I’m Thomas Halverson. I am a junior here at St. Louis Park High School. This year I am a varsity runner on the cross country team, varsity tennis player and junior varsity basketball player. I am super excited to be a part of the echo team this year!

Comments (4)

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  • C

    Chris BondMar 27, 2024 at 7:27 pm

    Excellent article. Articulate, accurate, factual, intelligent. I’ll try to read you more often.

    Reply
  • J

    James HalvertMar 25, 2024 at 9:14 am

    Iowa Hawkeyes! Other than that, keep up the great work!

    Reply
  • C

    CarrieMar 25, 2024 at 8:55 am

    The beginning of your story is not quite right. Caitlin Clark plays for the University of Iowa HAWKEYES. She is not a Buckeye.

    Reply
  • C

    Corey BRIDGEMar 25, 2024 at 8:52 am

    Wrong team. Hawkeyes, not Buckeyes

    Reply