Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Caitlin Clark details extent of her conversations with USA Basketball

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During Iowa‘s run in the NCAA Tournament, Caitlin Clark was named to the 14-athlete training camp roster for USA Basketball. However, the camp overlaps with the Final Four — something Clark would not miss.

The list was comprised of 13 WNBA stars and Clark, which included names like Diana Taurasi, Kelsey Plum, Sabrina Ionescu and Brittney Griner.

After the Hawkeyes punched their ticket to Cleveland, there was no chance Clark could juggle the two. Still, the Iowa superstar showed her gratitude for being recognized with an all-star caliber list of names ahead of her Final Four matchup against UConn.

“Anytime you’re invited to do anything for USA Basketball it’s a tremendous honor. For me it was a win-win, either doing that or this,” Clark said. “And obviously this was where my focus was. I wanted to get back to the Final Four with this group.

“And honestly I haven’t talked to anybody. I have people that do that for me. And I think growing up, like, your dream is always to be on the national team and play for the national team. And a lot of those players that are, you know, in that pool or selection of who’s going to be on the Olympic team are my idols. Those are people I grew up watching and wanting to be like. So I think it’s more than anything it’s just a tremendous honor to be invited and be on the same list as a lot of those great players.”

For Clark, she had one more year of eligibility remaining to continue adding to her monumental legacy in Iowa City, but instead decided to declare for the WBNA Draft in February. Making this season the final year of her storied four-year career that’s been tabbed as one of the most impactful ever for the women’s game. Now, she’ll join her fellow 13 would-be camp-mates in the pros next season.

Before that, however, Clark’s invitation to the training camp is a good sign that she’ll be helping lead USA Basketball to its eighth consecutive Olympic gold medal this summer in Paris. The 2024 Paris Olympic Games are set for July 26 through Aug. 11. Although, Clark would likely tell you that she’s completely locked in on the Hawkeyes’ Final Four matchup.

Tip-off between the Hawkeyes and Huskies is scheduled for Friday night a 9 p.m. ET inside Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse in Cleveland live on ESPN. Iowa is a 2.5-point betting favorite heading into game day.

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