Caitlin Clark eight points away from scoring record: Kelsey Plum is "grateful" to pass the baton

Las Vegas Aces star Kelsey Plum graciously acknowledges Caitlin Clark's impending milestone as the leading scorer in Division 1 women's college basketball, expressing gratitude for passing the baton to the rising talent.

(Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images)

Iowa standout Caitlin Clark is on the cusp of becoming the all-time scoring leader in Division 1 Women's College Basketball, needing just eight points to achieve the milestone. She'll have the opportunity to make history in front of her home crowd when Iowa takes on Michigan on Thursday, Feb. 15.

During the USA Women's National Team training camp in Brooklyn, Kelsey Plum, a two-time WNBA Champion and star player for the Las Vegas Aces, addressed Caitlin Clark's upcoming achievement.

Kelsey Plum reached a challenging phase in her career when she clinched the scoring title

(Photo by Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images)

"I'm excited for her, I know its approaching quickly," said Plum after training camp in Brooklyn. "To be honest, I'm actually very grateful to pass that baton on, so very happy for her."

Plum, who's been vocal about her struggles in that past, particularly with mental health, associates the honor during a somber period in her life. Plum, who played four years for the Washington Huskies, is currently the all-time scoring leader in Division 1 Women's Basketball with 3,527 points. By achieving the personal accolade, she's all too familiar with the stress and emotions building up to that moment.

"I remember, to be honest, it was very much of a low point in my life," Plum told the media during a video call at USA Basketball mini camp about the night she made history. "I felt like a lot of pressure. "

And it's important to remember that athletes are humans too. Similar to Plum, several athletes have been outspoken about mental health, including WNBA legend Chamique Holdsclaw. In the NBA, Heat's Kevin Love, and Chicago's DeMar DeRozan have been transparent about their journey's. No matter how big of a star you are, or aim to be, it's important to take care of your mind, body, and soul.

Throughout her illustrious career, the point guard has stated in the past that her journey to the WNBA hasn't always been an upswing. Draft No.1 overall by the San Antonio Stars in the 2017 WNBA Draft, Plum was part of the organizations structural changes and relocation to Las Vegas. In her six year career, Plum is a 2x WNBA champion, 2x WNBA All-Star(MVP), All-WNBA First Team (2022), WNBA Sixth Play of the Year (2021), among several accolades.

RELATED: The Las Vegas Aces repeat as WNBA Champions

Plum also stated scoring at the college level is vastly different compared the professional level. In a video press conference after training camp, Plum says you "score differently" at the next grade, especially since "only less than one percent that go to the pro level."

Plum, Clark, along with numerous others, transcend the label of being solely basketball players.

One month prior to the 2020 USA Olympics, Plum tore her achilles. Forced to sit out the entire 2020 WNBA season, she propelled Team USA and captured the inaugural women's 3x2 Olympic gold medal. This year, she's headed to Paris as a member of the 2024 USA Olympic team.

Regarding not just Clark, but athletes as a whole, Plum made an excellent observation that athletes are so much more than just basketball players.

"The media takes time to understand that it's just not a basketball player, but a young woman that has feelings and emotions."

Similar to everyone else, she's acknowledge Clark "carries it with grace." However, she admitted it's "a lot to handle." While Clark hasn't shown vulnerability, Plum wants to make sure she feels supported outside of the basketball word.

"If anything, I would just make sure that we show her love outside of her performance, and she'll break it," Plum told reporters after training camp.

Shortly after the camp, Plum prematurely celebrated Clark hitting the milestone in a social media post on X.

"Congratulations on the record, and really your entire season!" Plum post "I appreciate what you do for the game, much respect and love! See you at the next level, hopefully sooner than later."

The same day, the Aces guard hilarious corrected her mistake with "my bad next game, followed by a laughing emoji.

Caitlin Clark is revolutionizing the world of women's basketball

The Caitlin Clark effect is real, and it's here to stay. In Nebraska's 82-79 upset over Iowa, a crowd of 15,042 spectators piled in to watch Clark and the matchup at Pinnacle Bank Arena. In the affair, Clark finished with 31 points, 10 assists, and 8 rebounds, on 33.3 percent three-point shooting. For the first time in her career, the Iowa sensation was held scoreless throughout the fourth quarter.

Clark will get the chance to break Plum's record on Thursday night against Michigan. With tip-off scheduled for 8:00 p.m. ET, the matchup will air on Peacock. With just five regular seasons left in the season, Clark will get a chance not only to break to record on national television, but to share it with fans at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

The most expensive ticket is going for $3000+ plus on Vivid Seats. The cheapest available on Vivid as of this afternoon is $311 in corner DD.

Caitlin Clark, 22, who's set to break the record, is averaging 32.1 points on the season, with 3,520 career points. She leads a new era in women's sports thats exploding with enthusiasm and growth. Although she's much more than just a scorer, Clark has had a profound impact on not only fans, but bringing women's basketball to a larger stage.

At 22-3, the Iowa Hawkeyes are the No. 4 amidst an incredible year. One season removed from the NCAA Finals, Clark was recently named the Naismith midseason team player of the year.

Stay tuned for more NCAA and WNBA related articles. Click here

Sara Jane Gamelli is a full-time Sportswriter, Content Creator and Social Media Manager for Ballislife Bets. She has a focus on the NBA, WNBA, NCAA Basketball, and the NFL. Sara Jane currently resides in Connecticut/NYC area with her Cat and Dog. SJ has her undergraduate degree from the University of Connecticut in Economics, with a minor in business administration.


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