Iowa women’s basketball star Caitlin Clark’s brutally honest admission on increasing fame

Caitlin Clark, likened to Pete Maravich and Steph Curry, has transformed women’s college basketball.

Iowa women’s basketball star Caitlin Clark, has brought a new level of excitement to the sport. Her impact on the game has led to packed stadiums and soaring ticket prices, a phenomenon rarely seen in women’s basketball.

Clark expressed amazement at her growing fame, acknowledging the strong support from fans.

“It’s honestly, hard for me to wrap my head around. It’s crazy, it’s crazy the way people scream my name and really support us and I try to make time for as many as them as I can,” Clark said, via Doug Feinberg of the Associated Press. “Like whenever I walk off the court, it’s so special just the way people scream our names and are so excited for our team. And that’s something that never gets old. I was that kid a few years back, so it’s crazy how time flies and I just try to soak it all in, every single moment.”

Data from Vivid Seats shows that Iowa games, especially those featuring Clark, are in high demand. Since Clark joined the Hawkeyes in 2020, ticket prices have risen by 224%, and fans are traveling 34% further to see her play.

The appeal of watching Clark play extends beyond the younger generation. Fans of all ages, including former high school athletes like Susan Johnstad, Deb Littlefield and Stephanie Fournier, have been drawn to games to witness her talent.  The trio, who played basketball and softball together at Roland Story High School, about 45 miles from where Clark grew up in Des Moines, met at the Iowa-Rutgers game on Jan. 5 in Piscataway, New Jersey.

“I’m a fan girl, for sure,” said Johnstad, who is an administrator at Virginia Tech. “I can see her play on television. But (it’s fun) to be able to see the people lined up beforehand and the girls working on their signs and doing the face paints.”

Clark compared to NBA greats

Iowa women’s basketball player Caitlin Clark and Michael Jordan, with sports broadcaster Gus Johnson with a speech bubble saying “She’s in a different dimension”

Renowned Fox announcer Gus Johnson has compared Clark’s skills and game sense to basketball greats Pete Maravich and Steph Curry. This comparison underscores her unique talent, which has been a significant factor in drawing large crowds. For instance, Northwestern recorded its first-ever sellout when Iowa, led by Clark, visited.

“Nobody’s ever had a player like this. She’s a combination of Pete Maravich and Steph Curry,” Johnson said. “She plays in a different dimension and realm. Her ability to see, understand and anticipate the game and then from a physical aspect shoot the ball from almost anywhere when she gets into the frontcourt. Not even Diana Taurasi had this kind of range.”

Clark’s rise to fame coincides with the era of social media and widespread broadcast coverage, contrasting with previous generations of players like Candace Parker and Diana Taurasi, who had less exposure.

The influence of Clark’s play was highlighted by New Jersey Devils President Jake Reynolds, who attended a game with his daughters. He shared how the experience of watching Clark live has inspired his daughters and sparked ongoing conversations in their household.

“To be able to, one, just witness the phenomenon that it is,” he said. “To be able to give my girls the opportunity and the experience to see that firsthand, someone that inspires them and someone that they aspire to be like, to be able to give them that experience and be able to share that experience with them is something that here we are several weeks later and it is still something that is talked about in our house.”

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