Column: The Caitlin Clark Effect



On Jan. 7, the Iowa Hawkeyes defeated the Michigan Wolverines 94-85 in which Caitlin Clark scored 28 points.

When the idea of a 40-point triple-double arises, many NBA icons, including Wilt Chamberlain, LeBron James, Luka Dončic and Larry Bird, are pictured. However, a 6’0″ junior from the University of Iowa is the top player to follow in the NCAA tournament this year. At just 21 years old, Caitlin Clark is the future of the WNBA.

The cheapest ticket found on StubHub for the Louisiana State University and the University of Iowa was $284 while the cheapest seat for the University of Connecticut and San Diego State came was around $75. This is just a prime example of how this astonishing player is making her mark in college basketball.

Although Louisiana State University ended up winning the championship game, the University of Iowa had a phenomenal run. The University of South Carolina maintained an undefeated record of 36-0, but they fell to Iowa in the Final Four, 77-73. This win for Iowa was partially accredited to Lisa Bluder for her magnificent coaching. However, it is majorly due to Caitlin Clark scoring 41 points, six rebounds and eight assists, which is just under her 40-point triple-double against Louisville with a whopping 41 points, 10 rebounds and 12 assists. This exceptional performance was the first-ever 40-point triple-double in NCAA tournament history.

Clark can launch a three-pointer from just about anywhere but also makes her team remarkably better. She averages 8.6 assists per game as she is constantly wanting to find the best shot for Iowa.

I think she’s the most phenomenal basketball player in America. I just don’t think there’s anybody like her in so many regards,”

— Lisa Bluder

“I think she’s the most phenomenal basketball player in America,” Iowa Head Coach Lisa Bluder said in a press conference. “I just don’t think there’s anybody like her in not only scoring but passing and handling the ball. She had the ball in her hand almost all the time tonight against great players. Then, it’s her mentality. I think she’s special because she believes in herself and she believes in her teammates. She’s so confident but she’s put the work in to deserve that confidence. She said when we were recruiting her I want to get to a Final Four.”

Caitlin Clark had a plethora of awards to show without a doubt how valuable she is: 2023 Big Ten Player of the Year, Big Ten All-Tournament MVP, Athletic National Player of the Year, Nancy Lieberman Point Guard of the Year, 2023 Wade Trophy Recipient, Gatorade Player of the Year and McDonald’s All-American.

All of these awards along with her undeniable talent can only lead me to believe that Caitlin Clark is the face of Iowa athletes. Her skills are inspiring many basketball players all throughout the country. Clark is not only the best collegiate basketball player at the moment, but also the WNBA’s future MVP.