Swish to success: Caitlin Clark declares for the WNBA Draft

18 points away from the all-time scoring record, Iowa's Caitlin Clark has officially declared for the 2024 WNBA Draft.

(Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images)

It's a leap day fans will never forget. Hoop fans get ready, Caitlin Clark is taking her talents to the WNBA.

This afternoon, Caitlin Clark sent shockwaves through the basketball world. The all-time leading scorer in NCAA division 1 women's basketball is turning pro.It's a bittersweet moment for Iowa fans, yet there's hope that they will follow her WNBA journey.

Thursday afternoon saw Caitlin Clark deliver the long-awaited news that basketball enthusiasts had been anticipating. Following her four-year stint at Iowa, Clark officially confirmed her intention to enter the 2024 WNBA Draft. This declaration coincided with the WNBA's announcement, made a day prior, regarding the draft's location in Brooklyn, with provisions for 1,000 fans to attend.

Caitlin Clark is 18 points away from owning the all-time NCAA Basketball scoring title

At the collegiate level, Caitlin Clark is on the cusp of a historic achievement. She is merely 18 points away from surpassing Peter Maravich for the all-time Division 1 scoring record. Beyond individual accolades, Clark has dedicated herself wholeheartedly to Iowa, demonstrating leadership both on and off the court.

Under her guidance, Iowa reached the Final Four for the first time since 1993, and despite falling short in the 2023 NCAA tournament, Clark is determined to lead the Hawkeyes on another championship pursuit. Her impact extends far beyond statistics; Clark has left an indelible mark on the program, the university, and the basketball community as a whole.

Clark's professional demeanor both on and off the court is unmistakable, showcasing a maturity beyond her years. It's clear that she is destined for success at the next level in the WNBA.

In a heartfelt message shared on X, previously known as Twitter, Clark revealed her decision regarding her future endeavors in the basketball world. The standout from Iowa took a moment to express gratitude to all the significant individuals in her life who have contributed to her journey thus far, including the fans.

"While this season is far from over and we have a lot more goals to achieve, it will be my last one at Iowa," said Clark on a social media post. "I am excited to be entering the 2024 WNBA Draft."

Basketball fans have been eagerly awaiting Clark's decision, particularly because she has been relatively quiet about her future until today. Personally, I didn't expect the news to come this soon; I anticipated the announcement to coincide with the end of March Madness or in early April.

Despite playing for the Iowa Hawkeyes for four years, Clark was eligible to return for a fifth season at Iowa due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Clark has been spectacular this season, averaging 32.2, 7.4 rebounds, and 8.7 rebounds in 29 games. In Wednesdays victory over Minnesota, the guard finished with 33 points, 10 rebounds, and 12 assists. With this stat line, she broke another record. Clark became the Big Ten's all-time leader in three-pointers made, and in fact scored the first 15 points of the game. It was her 17th career-triple double as a member of the Hawkeyes.

From filled arenas to bustling football stadiums, Caitlin Clark's impact is unmistakable. As a genuinely exceptional talent, she has inspired fans across the nation to eagerly attend her games. Her energy and skillset is contagious, and her following is one of a kind.

Clark is anticipated to be chosen as the top overall pick by the Indiana Fever

While this excitement is certainly rewarding for Clark, it's also a significant boon for the WNBA, a league that continues to flourish and expand. For the second year in a row, the Indiana Fever hold the no.1 overall pick in the 2024 WNBA Draft. After selecting South Carolina's Aliyah Boston no.1 in the 2023 Draft, Indiana has much optimism for the future.

Get ready, Gainbridge Fieldhouse, Indiana is preparing for the arrival of the biggest sensation from college basketball. With Clark practically guaranteed as the No. 1 pick, Indiana is poised to secure a much-needed star alongside Aliyah Boston. While Clark is renowned for her shooting prowess, she has also showcased exceptional playmaking abilities and a knack for rebounding. She'll fit like a glove in Indiana, who desperately needs a scoring guard, that's able to run the pick and roll with Boston.

While Indiana finished no. 10 last season at 13-27, they haven't sniffed the playoffs since the 2016. Overall, it's been a long road for Fever fans ever since Tamika Catchings retired back in 2016.

Clark, Iowa have one remaining regular-season game against Ohio State

With just one regular-season game left against Ohio State on March 3rd, Clark stands on the brink of becoming the all-time scoring leader in NCAA basketball history. Progressing and refining her skills since her freshman year, the Iowa standout boasts an impressive career tally of 3,650 points, 1,049 assists, and 917 rebounds. Over the years, she has notably enhanced the versatility of her game, particularly in rebounding and playmaking, showcasing a relentless dedication to improvement.

With that game approaching, Caitlin Clark will command everyone's attention, solidifying her status as a talent of a generation.

The final home game at the Carver-Hawkeye Arena is sure to evoke strong emotions. All eyes are fixed on Clark as she strives to surpass Maravich while making her announcement regarding the WNBA. Among the attendees will be her family and friends, whom she wholeheartedly thanked in her post on X.

While she thanked everyone who's helped her along the way, she saved the most important message for last.

"Most importantly, none of this would have been possible without my family and friends who have been by my side through it all," said Clark on X. "Because of all of you, my dreams came true."

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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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