Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Basketball star Caitlin Clark tells coach Team USA ‘woke a monster’ after Olympics snub

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Caitlin Clark says there is”‘no disappointment” following news the basketball sensation was left off the US Olympic team headed to Paris next month. 

The Indiana Fever rookie confirmed on Sunday, local time, that she isn’t on the roster for this year’s Olympics.

It came after the snub was first reported by The Athletic. 

Speaking to reporters after practice, Clark said there was “honestly no disappointment” hearing the news, saying it gave her “something to work for”. 

“That’s a dream, you know hopefully one day I can be there,” she said.

“It’s just a little more motivation. 

“Hopefully when four years comes back around, I can be there.”

She added she would be “rooting” for the selected team to win gold.

“I’m excited for the girls that are on the team,” she said. 

“I know it’s the most competitive team in the world and it could have gone either way.”

Indiana Fever coach Christie Sides said she was a “little disappointed” in the decision by Team USA but was confident her player would have other chances.

“She’s young, she’s going to have so many opportunities in the future,” she told reporters. 

“I mean, the thing she said was, ‘Hey coach, they woke a monster.'”

Caitlin Clark has quickly become a loved figure in WNBA, earning scores of fans. (AP Photo: Jessica Hill)

Clark said she would use the Olympics to take a break from “the craziness of everything that’s been going”.

The 22-year-old does have some international experience with USA Basketball at a younger level, but she couldn’t attend the national training camp in Cleveland after she was invited because she was leading Iowa to the Final Four. 

She finished her career as the NCAA’s Division I all-time scoring leader, and has drawn millions of new fans to women’s basketball in her college career and also in her young WNBA career.

The Olympic snub had quickly attracted criticism, with Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy calling the decision the “the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard” on social media platform X.

A woman in a orange jersey looks up

Diana Taurasi will be going for her record sixth Olympic gold medal.(Reuters: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports)

The roster is instead expected to include A’ja Wilson, Breanna Stewart and Diana Taurasi, who is going for a record sixth Olympic gold medal.

The US has won every gold medal in women’s basketball starting with the 1996 Atlanta Games.

The US team will train together for a few days in Phoenix in July. Then it’s off to London for an exhibition game against Germany before heading to France.

The Americans will play Japan, Belgium and Germany in pool play at the Olympics.

ABC/AP

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