Dawn Staley shouts out Iowa’s Caitlin Clark: ‘She carried a heavy load for our sport’

Dawn Staley continued to sing Caitlin Clark’s praises in the moments after Sunday’s national championship game.

Staley and the South Carolina women’s basketball team ended Iowa and Clark’s quest for a title with an 87-75 Gamecocks win over the Hawkeyes at Rocket Mortgage Field House in Cleveland.

But after celebrating the team’s third national championship, Staley heaped praise Clark’s way during her postgame interview on ABC.

“I want to personally thank Caitlin Clark for lifting up our sport. She carried a heavy load for our sport,” Staley said. “And it is just not going to stop here on a collegiate tour, but when she is No. 1 pick in the WNBA Draft. She is going to lift that league up as well. Caitlin Clark, if you are out there, you are one of the GOATS of our game. We appreciate you.”

Clark, regarded as the top player in the women’s college game, is projected to go No. 1 to the Indiana Fever in the WNBA Draft that’s coming up April 15.

Clark has been a top draw for NCAA women’s basketball the past two years, both on and off the court. Iowa’s regional final and Final Four game against Connecticut were the two most watched women’s basketball games of all time. Sunday’s national title matchup might pass those two games when ratings numbers come out Monday.

The Iowa senior also racked up many national endorsements, including from State Farm Insurance.

Clark finished her career with 3,951 points and had 18 in the first quarter Sunday, the most ever in one quarter in NCAA Women’s Tournament history. She averaged a nation’s-best 31.6 points per game this season and 28.4 in her career.

Clark became the first player in NCAA Division I history to lead the nation in scoring and also make it to the national championship game.