Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Caitlin Clark Reacts To Being Left Off The 2024 U.S. Olympic Team

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WNBA star Caitlin Clark on Sunday shared her reaction to being left off the women’s national team set to compete in the Olympic Games in Paris later this summer.

Clark, 22, told reporters that USA Basketball called to inform her of their decision, and she offered the team her best wishes in the competition.

“I know it’s the most competitive team in the world and I know it could have gone either way,” she said. “I’m excited for them. I’m going to be rooting them on to win gold. I was a kid that grew up watching the Olympics. It will be fun to watch them.”

Asked if she was upset to hear the decision, the Indiana Fever guard replied: “Honestly, no disappointment.”

“I think it just gives you something to work for. You know, that’s a dream. Hopefully one day I can be there,” she said. “Hopefully in four years, when four years comes back around, I can be there.”

USA Basketball has not officially announced the team roster and has so far made no comment on the decision to leave Clark off the national team.

In response to a question about whether she would be willing to step in to help the team if one of the players selected got injured, Clark said it would be a “great opportunity” as she has a good relationship with USA Basketball, but noted her current priority is the Indiana Fever.

“The 12 they have selected are really great players so I think they’re in pretty good hands,” Clark added.

The head coach of the Fever, Christie Sides, told reporters Clark was on the team’s bus when she found out she didn’t make the cut and texted her to let her know.

“The thing she said was, ‘Hey, coach, they woke a monster,’” Sides recalled.

Sides added that Clark is “one of the most competitive people” she knows and that this will only motivate her to keep improving.

“She’s a worker and that’s what she’s going to do,” Sides said. “This just gave her another opportunity to get in the gym and do more work.”

The decision to leave Clark off the team was met with mixed reactions in the sports world.

USA Today’s Christine Brennan reported that two U.S. basketball veterans attributed the call in part to concern among the team’s ranks about how Clark’s fan base would react to the limited playing time she would be likely to get in the competition.

The 12 players that will be representing the U.S. in Paris for the women’s basketball team, according to sources cited by The Athletic, are: A’ja Wilson, Breanna Stewart, Diana Taurasi, Brittney Griner, Alyssa Thomas, Napheesa Collier, Jewell Loyd, Kelsey Plum, Jackie Young, Sabrina Ionescu, Chelsea Gray and Kahleah Copper.

Clark was named the WNBA Rookie of the Month for May.

The women’s basketball team has won gold in the past seven Olympic Games and is expected to do so again this year.

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