Caitlin Clark’s Family Originally Didn’t Want Her To Attend Iowa

"Hearst Magazines and Yahoo may earn commission or revenue on some items through these links."

  • Caitlin Clark will likely be drafted by the WNBA's Indiana Fever on April 15.

  • Her family is a huge source of support for the Iowa college basketball star.

  • Here's everything to know about Caitlin's mom, dad, and two brothers.

Caitlin Clark has had a rockin' year. But it will all come to a head on Monday, April 15, when the Iowa guard will appear at the 2024 WNBA draft, where she'll likely be selected first by the Indiana Fever.

This season, the star became the leading scorer in the NCAA's Division I basketball history for women and men, NBD. She just capped off her season with an appearance in the women's March Madness national championship, where she and the Hawkeyes lost to South Carolina 87-75. But her family was there to cheer her on the entire time. (Her parents "never miss a game," per KCRG-TV9.)

You probably won't be surprised to learn that the Big Ten Player of the Year comes from a line of sports enthusiasts. According to the Hawkeyes' website (via Heavy), “Eleven of Clark’s family members have played collegiate sports.”

Caitlin's parents, Brent and Anne Nizzi-Clark, raised their children—Blake, Caitlin, and Colin—in West Des Moines, Iowa. Caitlin is the second-born child. The three kids—all three of whom graduated from Dowling Catholic high school—went on to become athletes in their own right.

"We were always involved in sports and, at home, we were always around sports," Blake told the Cedar Rapids Gazette. "We watched sports at night—whether we would go to Drake and watch basketball games, or watch cousins play their basketball games or tournaments. When you’re just around something that much, it’s what you do, too."

The family has showed her support for Caitlin's college basketball career, with Anne telling Hawkeye Headquarters that her daughter's rise to stardom has been "quite amazing."

"Honestly, it’s just been a fabulous journey thus far and [we're] super proud of her," she added.

Here’s everything to know about Caitlin Clark’s family:

Her grandfather was a high school football coach.

Caitlin’s maternal grandfather, Bob Nizzi, was the football coach at Dowling Catholic High School in Des Moines, Iowa. Caitlin attended the same high school, and, naturally, carried on the family tradition by joining the basketball team there. Her grandfather shared a story with HawkFanatic about the moment he knew his granddaughter was destined for greatness.

Bob said that he and his wife, Caitlin’s grandmother, were watching a 5-year-old Caitlin struggle on the court. There was a boy twice her size playing a tough defense against Caitlin, Bob recalled.

“They were playing and there was a particularly large young man and rather aggressive that was about to position and out-strength Caitlin, and sometimes to the point where he was really taking advantage of the little girl," he shared.

Caitlin’s dad, Brent Clark, was her coach at the time, and he benched Caitlin while she was crying, waiting for her to gather her composure.

“Upon her going back in, she never went to the ball to participate in the game that was going on,” her grandfather said. “She went right to this guy and put on the best downfield block that I have ever seen and rolled this kid out of bounds and stood over him. She’s a five-year old little girl. And that is when her grandmother and I looked at each other and said, ‘She’s going to be really something.’”

"It’s just a marvelous thing to remember that she’s wired special,” he added. “Sometimes, there are special athletes that God has created, and God coaches, and Caitlin Clark is one of those."

Caitlin's dad played sports in college, and even used to coach his daughter.

Brent coached Caitlin when she was a little girl, and he certainly had the athletic background to do so. Her dad was a sports star in his own right while at college, playing both basketball and baseball at Simpson College in Iowa. Brent even earned First Team All-Conference honors and Second Team All-Conference honors for basketball, per the school's official hall of fame website.

"I see a lot of myself at times in Caitlin in terms of her passion for the game," Brent previously told KCRG-TV9. "All in all, that's really what drives her and makes her the player that she is."

Brent added that it's "pretty cool" to go to away games and see little girls with "Caitlin Clark" signs.

Of course, he's pretty passionate about his daughter's college games. Last month, Brent was filmed appearing to shout "Stop!" during a March Madness game after Caitlin got into a heated discussion with officials.

"The games where the stakes are high is really nervous for me, but I am trying to work on being more supportive and positive," he told the TV station. "She'll look at the stands every so often and I try to give her some reassurance. I try to do the best that I can."

What does Caitlin Clark's father do for a living?

Brent is vice president of operations at a company called Concentric International, which is an industrial equipment supplier in Des Moines, Iowa. According to his company bio, Brent has nearly 25 years of experience in sales, marketing, and operations management.

He also “pioneered” the introduction, brand development, and “rapid sales growth” of two the companies product lines, his bio says. “Brent’s demonstrated success in developing successful North American divisions for international manufacturers is strong evidence of Concentric International’s commitment to their factory partners,” the bio reads. “Brent’s emphasis on customer development through product quality and satisfaction drives our factory partners’ short and long term goals.”

Caitlin’s mom works in marketing.

The basketball star's mom Anne works in strategic partnerships for CC22 Ventures, LLC, an early-stage investment platform. She has previously worked for Wells Fargo and Delta Dental of Iowa, per her LinkedIn.

And, she's pretty involved in Caitlin's career. She currently leads strategic partnerships for CC22 Ventures LLC, which helps Caitlin's name, image and likeness (NIL) deals, per Sporting News.

According to Anne, Caitlin's been a natural at sports since she was young. "She's not one to sit around," she told ESPN in 2017. "She likes to just go. She would ask her dad, 'Let's go hit golf balls,' or 'Let's throw the football.'"

Are Caitlin Clark’s parents still married?

Caitlin’s parents appear to still be married—there hasn’t been any information to suggest that they aren’t. Both regularly attend Caitlin’s games and sit near one another.

She has an older brother named Blake.

Caitlin has two brothers, and the three of them played a lot of basement basketball when they were growing up, per the Gazette. Caitlin was inspired to play, in part, because her brother loved it, too.

"I feel like I was just that little girl playing outside with my brother," Caitlin told ESPN in March.

Her older brother, Blake, 24, was a quarterback for Iowa State while he was in college, and also played basketball in high school, according to the Gazette. During his time at Iowa State, he studied industrial engineering and was selected as an outstanding graduating senior in December 2022. On the football team, he even became close friends with future San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy, per The San Francisco Chronicle.

Caitlin told the Gazette that she was inspired by Blake's efforts on the high school football field growing up.

"He was super athletic, but he wasn’t the most skilled, the most talented," she said. “He just really outworked people, and I think that’s kind of what I admire about him and what drove me when I was young."

Brent added that his eldest son has a bit of an "old soul," which has helped him through life. “He just does a really good job of keeping things in perspective, I think he’s well thought of on the football team because of that,” Brent said. “He gets along well with every single socioeconomic student-athlete you have on the football team. As you know, it ranges greatly in people’s backgrounds.”

Anne also told the Iowa newspaper that Blake is “the boss” of all the Clark siblings. “Blake has the answers to everything and they kind of defer to Blake, just about their life and what they’re doing,” she said. “Blake is always going to give his opinion.”

Caitlin told the publication that Blake gives her feedback on her games, and she appreciates that. “He knows the game really, really well,” she aid. “I think that’s always something I can lean on him whenever I have a tough game or things aren’t going my way. He usually always watches if it’s on TV, or we have Big Ten+ and he pays to watch it, but I think he’s really honest, but I know it’s in the best interest of myself.”

Caitlin has a younger brother named Colin.

If Blake is an old soul, and Caitlin is the outgoing middle child, then the youngest Clark sibling, Colin, is a “quiet assassin,” according to his mother, noting his fiery side. Colin also played basketball in high school and graduated Dowling Catholic in 2023. He's currently a freshman at Creighton University.

Colin and Caitlin are close, according to ESPN. When he was a baby, Caitlin's family used to call her "Caitie Mommy" since she took such good care of him.

“I think Blake and Caitlin are always watching him online and following him, too,” his mother shared with The Gazette. “That is probably even more special to watch, and take the time to come back and watch him and support him, and beat up on him a little bit, too. That part has been amazing.”

Colin also previously told ESPN that he and Caitlin played "typical one-on-one games" at home, and that they got pretty competitive. "There was a loose ball and she ended up shoving me in the corner of the basement into the wall," he said. "Split my head open. Got four staples."

Her cousin played basketball for Creighton University.

Caitlin's siblings and parents aren't the only athletic ones in the family. Her cousin, Audrey Faber, played forward for Creighton University's women's basketball team from 2015 to 2019, per the college's website. She also attended Caitlin's alma mater Dowling Catholic, helping to lead the team to a state championship.

The cousins regularly talked basketball, with ESPN calling Audrey one of Caitlin's "main role models."

Her family is always there for advice.

Caitlin's family members have been a massive support for the 22-year-old as she navigates college fame. Anne told the Gazette that the younger Clark siblings look up to older brother Blake, joking that he "has the answers to everything."

"I basically talk to him everyday, even if it’s not about football or basketball, we stay in touch a lot," Caitlin told the outlet. "Just seeing what’s going on in each other’s lives. He’s always someone I can lean on—even if it’s about school or just something in life, he’s always there for me."

Plus, Brent and Anne are certainly there for their daughter too, with Brent telling KCRG-TV9 that he tells her, "You gotta stay away, sometimes, from the social media. There's always going to be somebody who's gonna want to see you fall. Whether you're the President of the United States or some other high-profile person, there's about 50% lined up against you, 50% lined up for you."

"There's not place she goes or a game she plays where they don't know who she is, so it's always a challenge, but I think that's great," he added. "I think that helps elevate her game, and I think she's got a lot of room for improvement on both sides."

They originally wanted her to go to a different school.

The University of Iowa wasn't always the first choice for Caitlin's family. In fact, she originally was interested in attending Notre Dame, especially because of their legendary coach Muffet McGraw, per ESPN.

Caitlin even told Muffet herself that she would attend. But she changed her mind, ultimately choosing Iowa despite her mom's wishes.

"My family wanted me to go to Notre Dame," she told the outlet. "At the end of the day they were like, you make the decision for yourself. But it's NOTRE DAME! 'Rudy' was one of my favorite movies. How could you not pick Notre Dame?"

Caitlin ultimately told her parents in a family meeting, which they called "emotional." But it helped them realize that she had an "ambitious" vision for herself, according to ESPN.

They appreciate Caitlin's 'fun, spunky' personality.

Caitlin's family has fun with her on and off the court. Anne told the Gazette that she has a "fun, spunky attitude" at home, and loves to joke around with her brothers.

"She lets them say it's okay to laugh," she said. "You really see that at home."

At home, Caitlin and her brothers play Fortnite, per ESPN. But Iowa head manager Will McIntire added that she isn't too good at it.

Her older brother told the Gazette that he appreciates her "outgoing and confident" personality.

"I think that’s apparent on the court, she plays with a lot of confidence," he said. "There’s not a shot she doesn’t think she can take or make. And she just kind of plays with a swagger. She doesn’t care if she’s missing shots, she trusts that the next one’s going to go in."

“All that fighting and everything turns into a mature, loving relationship as you grow up and get older," he continued. "I always have her back and she has mine. We do anything we can to support each other and encourage each other now."

How much is Caitlin Clark worth?

Caitlin has earned plenty of money from a number of Name, Image, and Likeness (NIL) deals. She currently has 12 NIL deals with major brands like Buick, Nike, Gatorade, State Farm, and more, according to On3, and they all pull in thousands of dollars a month.

Right now, Caitlin is worth $3.4 million, according to On3.

Can’t wait to watch Caitlin crush March Madness and the upcoming WNBA draft!

You Might Also Like