Social media reacts as Caitlin Clark captures Sullivan Award

The season hasn’t even started yet, and Caitlin Clark is already racking up awards.

After a successful 2022 campaign that saw the junior guard take home the AP Player of the Year, Naismith College Player of the Year, and nearly every other award under the sun, Clark is starting out 2023 with a bang.

It was announced on Tuesday night that the Des Moines, Iowa, native was the most recent recipient of the 2023 AAU James E. Sullivan Award at the New York Athletic Club.

“I am incredibly humbled,” Clark said. “It is an honor to be selected for this prestigious award that elects a student-athlete that excels on the court and off. All the finalists are equally as deserving. It is special to represent the University of Iowa on this stage.”

The James E. Sullivan Award is given annually to the most outstanding athlete at the collegiate or Olympic level in the United States. Clark joins a prestigious list of athletes to win the James E. Sullivan Award that includes Simone Biles, Michael Phelps, and Jackie Joyner-Kersee.

She beat out Purdue basketball player Zach Edey, Olympic swimmer Kate Douglass, Olympic gymnast Jordan Chiles, LSU baseball player Dylan Crews, and Tennessee swimmer Jordan Crooks for the honor. She is the second Hawkeye to win the award, joining former Iowa wrestler Spencer Lee.

Clark was the ideal candidate for the award, not only for her play on the court, but her impact off of it as well. Clark was the best player in college basketball last year, sweeping nearly every major award available.

She also helped launch women’s basketball into another level of popularity. The 2023 NCAA championship featuring Iowa and LSU hit 9.9 million viewers, which was up 103% from 2022 and was the most-viewed Division I women’s game in history.

Every Iowa women’s basketball game is sold out for the upcoming season, and their away games will surely be a hot ticket as well.

To the final award given to Caitlin Clark ahead of the 2023 season, here are some of the congratulations social media had to offer for Iowa’s superstar.

It's official

The speech

A crowning moment

Two Hawkeye legends

Joining elite company


Another one

Go Hawks

The last time we saw Clark

Recent love from the Hawkeye marching band

Less than a month away

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Story originally appeared on Hawkeyes Wire