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Caitlin Clark Has a Message for Those Who Say She’s Not a GOAT

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Caitlin Clark is not losing sleep over the great GOAT debate taking over March Madness.

On April 6, Clark appeared to respond to South Carolina coach Dawn Staley’s recent claims that the 22-year-old basketball star can’t be considered one of the greatest woman’s college basketball player of all time without having won a championship, despite her record-breaking run.

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A controversial foul call put a bit of a damper on the victory for many viewers.

“If Caitlin wins the championship, she’s pretty damn good, yeah, she’s a GOAT,” Staley said, per Yahoo! Sports. “I mean, she’s really damn good regardless. But winning the championship would seal the deal. I hope to the dear Lord she doesn’t.” That last part is definitely understandable, considering Clark and the Iowa Hawkeyes are currently facing off against Staley’s South Carolina Gamecocks for that very title.

To be fair, the 53-year-old coach referenced her experience as a three-time Olympic gold medalist and Hall of Fame player who played for Virginia between 1988 and 1992. “I was really good in college, never won a championship,” Staley said. “You’ve got to win a championship. That’s me, personally. Like I had a great career. But it’s always, Did you win a championship?”

AP Coach of the Year Dawn Staley of the South Carolina Gamecocks and AP Player of the Year Caitlin Clark #22 of the Iowa Hawkeyes on April 04, 2024.

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AP Coach of the Year Dawn Staley of the South Carolina Gamecocks and AP Player of the Year Caitlin Clark #22 of the Iowa Hawkeyes on April 04, 2024.
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Meanwhile, Clark says she’s not counting wins when thinking about her overall college career. “I’ve played basketball at this university for four years, and for it to come down to two games and that be whether or not I’m proud of myself and proud of the way I’ve carried myself and proud of the way I’ve impacted people in their lives, I don’t think that’s a fair assessment,” she told reporters during a press conference on April 6, per USA Today.

“I don’t want my legacy to be, 'Oh, Caitlin won X amount of games’ or ‘Caitlin scored X amount of points.’ It’s, I hope, what I was able to do for the game of women’s basketball,” she continued. “I hope it is the young boys and young girls that are inspired to play this sport or dream to do whatever they want to do in their lives.”

For the record, Clark recently became the all-time NCAA scoring leader—male or female—and broke Stephen Curry’s record for most three-pointers in a single NCAA Division-I season. “To me, for it to come down to 40 minutes and for me to validate myself within 40 minutes, I don’t think that’s a fair assessment,” she said.

The only opinions Clark cares about, she says, are the ones held by her family, teammates, and coaches. “I think the biggest thing for myself is when you’re in the spotlight like this, there’s going to be a million different opinions on you,” she said during the same press conference. “For as many people that are going to love you, there are going to be people that don’t like you. That’s the case with every professional athlete, men or women, playing at the highest stage.”

She continued, “I think what I’ve been able to do over the course of my career is just focus on the opinions of the people inside our locker room. That’s what I really care about, the people that I love to death, the people that have had my back every single second of my career, have been the ones that have believed in me more than anybody.”

No matter what you call Caitlin Clark, she’s had an inspirational run. Next up, the WNBA.


Originally Appeared on Glamour