Caitlin Clark is introduced by Indiana Fever: 'This is a dream come true'

Caitlin Clark is introduced by Indiana Fever: 'This is a dream come true'

Caitlin Clark’s record-breaking season and legendary collegiate basketball career has come to an end, but her professional career is only just beginning.

Two days after she was selected by the Indiana Fever with the first overall pick in the WNBA draft, Clark took part in an introductory press conference at Gainbridge Fieldhouse in Indianapolis on April 17.

“This is a dream come true. These are the moments you dream of. ... I can’t think of a better place for myself to start my career. A place that loves basketball, that supports women’s basketball, and an organization that really does things the right way, has championship pedigree. I’m just very thankful that they have a belief in me,” the former Iowa Hawkeyes star said about joining the Fever.

Caitlin Clark poses during introductory press conference for Indiana Fever. (Ron Hoskins / NBAE via Getty Images)
Caitlin Clark poses during introductory press conference for Indiana Fever. (Ron Hoskins / NBAE via Getty Images)

Clark's jump to the WNBA follows a historic run at Iowa, which was punctuated by the school's recent announcement that it will retire her number.

“There will never be another @CaitlinClark22 & there will never be another 22,” the Iowa women’s basketball team tweeted on April 10. “The #Hawkeyes will retire Clark’s No. 22.”

The Hawkeyes fell short of what would have been the team’s first NCAA championship win on April 7, losing to the South Carolina Gamecocks, 87-75.

The 22-year-old wrapped her career as the all-time leading scorer, male or female, in NCAA Division I hoops history, scoring 3,951 points and tallying 1,144 assists, two national player of the year honors and two national runner-up finishes. Clark was named the Big Ten player of the year for the third consecutive season last month.

In the championship game against South Carolina, Clark led Iowa, and the game, as the top scorer with 30 points, 8 rebounds and 5 assists.

While celebrating South Carolina’s big win, coach Dawn Staley took a moment to congratulate Iowa on its season and honor Clark’s impact on women’s college basketball.

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

In a postgame interview, Clark said this year was “in a way, more special than last year,” adding that the emotions would likely set in over the next several days.

“Yeah, I’m sad we lost this game. But I’m also so proud of myself. I’m so proud of my teammates. I’m so proud of this program,” she said.

Despite the loss, Clark’s impressive performance on the court garnered social media attention from professionals like LeBron James.

He posted on X, “If you don’t rock with Caitlin Clark game you’re just a FLAT OUT HATER!!!!! Stay far away from them people!! PLEASE.”

Magic Johnson also took a moment on X to honor Clark’s career and impact on women’s basketball.

“Caitlin Clark’s extraordinary play this season has been the catalyst for growing women’s basketball, with record-breaking viewership throughout the tournament. She deserves her flowers and I want to congratulate her on an incredible collegiate career!” he wrote, adding the flower bouquet emoji.

The Hawkeyes shared on X a shot of Clark walking out of the stadium, writing, “The greatest of all time.”

What’s next for Caitlin Clark?

Clark was selected as the No. 1 pick in the 2024 WNBA draft by the Indiana Fever on April 15 in New York.

The WNBA season officially begins May 14.

Clark was invited to Team USA’s women’s basketball team training camp this month, but the timing conflicted with the March Madness tournament. She’s still in contention, however, to make the U.S. Olympic 5-on-5 and 3x3 teams for the Paris Games this summer.

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