Caitlin Clark relishing her fan interactions with WNBA shift ahead

Caitlin Clark may be one of the biggest names in women’s basketball, but that fact changes the impact she has on those who look up to her as the presumptive No. 1 overall pick in Monday’s WNBA Draft. I haven’t said that.

Clark broke nearly every record in college basketball and led Iowa State to back-to-back appearances in the national title game, and is seen as one of the driving forces behind the increased attention to women’s college basketball.

Women’s sports enthusiasts hope her presence in the WNBA will raise the profile of the league, further promote women’s sports, and inspire the next generation of female athletes.

In an interview with NBC News’ “TODAY” On the show, which airs on Monday, Clark recalled the athletes she once admired and why being a role model for young girls is so important to her.

Caitlin Clark warms up before the Iowa State game during the NCAA Tournament. USA Today Sports

“The people I looked up to in life were either female professional basketball players or professional soccer players. And I knew I wanted to be that. And how big of an impact that could have on a girl’s life. “I think it’s very important to understand what’s going on,” Clark said.

“So I always try to make as much time as possible for them. And just seeing them yell your name and put on your jersey, it’s something that never gets old.”

When Iowa State played on the road, fans lined up outside the arena for hours to watch Clark play, and young fans waited anxiously to get an autograph from Clark before and after games.

After the ceremony honoring the Hawkeyes women’s basketball team for the 2023-24 season, Clark remained at the event to ensure she could meet with passionate fans after the event.

Clark’s college career reached new heights during her senior season as she became the all-time leading scorer in either men’s or women’s DI basketball, surpassing the previous women’s college basketball scoring record set by Kelsey Plumb.

She will be one of the most anticipated draft picks in WNBA history, expected to be the No. 1 overall pick by the Indiana Fever, joining not only Clark but also LSU star Angel Reese and South Carolina star Camilla. Cardoso has also been named.

Caitlin Clark attempts a shot against Holy Cross during an NCAA Tournament game.
Caitlin Clark attempts a shot against Holy Cross during an NCAA Tournament game. AP

Reese is also a player who has brought attention to women’s college basketball, and hopes to raise the profile of the WNBA.

“It’s great to be able to grow women’s sports,” Reese said at a promotional event Friday. “I think I’ve done a lot of things in college and so many different players have done the same thing. Being able to bring this to the W is what I want to do at the W. And they, especially the veterans, I think they deserve it. I mean, they’ve done a great job and laid the foundation for us.”