Monday, May 27, 2024

Lisa Leslie Backs Caitlin Clark for Team USA at Olympics: ‘She’s a Bona Fide Baller’

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C. Morgan Engel/NCAA Photos via Getty Images

Caitlin Clark may not be in the WNBA yet, but three-time league MVP and four-time Olympic gold medalist Lisa Leslie already believes the former Iowa guard is ready for the 2024 Paris Olympics.

“She better be on the Olympic team,” Leslie said, per ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne. “We should not leave the country without her. She’s a bona fide baller. There’s no doubt she’s already one of the best players in the world.”

Leslie won gold medals with Team USA in four straight Olympics between 1996 to 2008.

She played from 1997 to 2009 for the Los Angeles Sparks, whom she led to back-to-back WNBA championships in 2001 and 2002.

Now Leslie is expecting Clark, who played her final game for Iowa on April 7 during the Hawkeyes’ NCAA championship game loss to South Carolina, to find similar professional success.

Clark finished her career as college basketball’s all-time leading scorer with 3,951 points, while her 1,144 assists rank second in women’s college basketball history.

She is expected to be the No. 1 selection on April 15 when the WNBA draft takes place in Brooklyn.

Despite these accolades, there has been uncertainty over whether or not Clark will be headed to Paris with the Olympic team this summer.

Clark was the only current college player invited to USA Basketball camp in March but missed the event when Iowa advanced to the Final Four.

The final Olympic roster can include players who did not attend camp when the final list is named at the beginning of July, per NBC Sports.

If Leslie has any say, Clark will be one of the names on the roster as the USA women seek their eighth straight gold medal in July.

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