Caitlin Fever: Indiana selects NCAA superstar Clark No. 1 overall in WNBA draft


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Caitlin Fever: Indiana selects NCAA superstar Clark No. 1 overall in WNBA draft

FEVER PITCH. Caitlin Clark poses with WNBA commissioner Cathy Engelbert after she is selected with the number one overall pick to the Indiana Fever in the 2024 WNBA Draft at Brooklyn Academy of Music. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

USA TODAY Sports via Reuters Con

US NCAA records conqueror and shooting extraordinaire Caitlin Clark expectedly goes first in the 2024 WNBA draft after an iconic collegiate career in Iowa

Iowa’s Caitlin Clark – the superstar who shattered collegiate scoring records this past season – was selected No. 1 overall by the Indiana Fever in the WNBA draft on Monday (Tuesday, April 16, Manila time) in New York.

With the Fever, Clark will be paired with last year’s No. 1 overall pick, South Carolina product Aliyah Boston. Together, the two former consensus national players of the year in college will attempt to lead a franchise that hasn’t made the playoffs since 2016.

While Clark led all of college basketball in scoring in 2023-24 with an average of 31.6 points per game, her passing helped lead her to the top spot in the WNBA draft.

As she led Iowa to the national title game for the second year in a row, Clark topped the nation in assists, too, at 8.9 per game. The 22-year-old native of West Des Moines, Iowa, is excited to deliver passes in the post to the 6-foot-5 Boston, who is the reigning Rookie of the Year.

“There’s so much you can say about her,” Clark said of Boston. “In my eyes, one of the best players in the league. As a point guard, my biggest job is – I’m just feeding Aliyah the ball every single day. That’s what I’m going to do.”

A three-time Big Ten Player of the Year and two-time national player of the year, Clark scored 3,951 points in her four seasons playing for the Hawkeyes, making her the all-time leading scorer in all of Division I college basketball, women’s and men’s.

Clark’s Hawkeyes fell in this year’s national title game to the South Carolina Gamecocks, whose 6-foot-7 center, Kamilla Cardoso, was taken No. 3 overall by the Chicago Sky. Cardoso was named the Most Outstanding Player at the Final Four after grabbing a career-best 17 rebounds against Iowa.

In Chicago, Cardoso will team up with former LSU star Angel Reese, whom the Sky selected with the seventh overall pick. The two have been rivals in the Southeastern Conference for the past two seasons, but Cardoso is ready to wash away any bad blood.

“I think it’s going to be great. She’s a great player. I’m a great player,” Cardoso said. “So, two great players together. Nobody is going to get no rebounds on us.”

Stanford’s Cameron Brink – the Naismith Defensive Player of the Year – was selected by the Los Angeles Sparks with the second overall pick. The Sparks then drafted Tennessee’s Rickea Jackson with the fourth pick.

With the fifth pick, the Dallas Wings chose Ohio State sharpshooter Jacy Sheldon.

“It’s a surreal moment because I grew up as a little kid watching all these women play and how talented they are and being able to have a chance to play with them and compete against them, it’s a dream,” Sheldon said. “It’s what we all are here for, and it’s what we’re looking forward to.”

Versatile UConn forward Aaliyah Edwards was taken sixth by the Washington Mystics, and the Minnesota Lynx selected Utah’s Alissa Pili eighth overall.

Three international players were taken in the first round, with French guard Carla Leite going to Dallas at No. 9, French guard Leila Lacan going to the Connecticut Sun at No. 10, and Australian forward Nyadiew Puoch going to the Atlanta Dream with the 12th and final pick of the first round.

The New York Liberty, who were runners up in the WNBA Finals last season, drafted Marquesha Davis of Ole Miss with the 11th pick.

The reigning champion Las Vegas Aces had their first pick in the second round, 16th overall, and they selected Syracuse guard Dyaisha Fair. – Rappler.com

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