Fans are excited as Caitlin Clark responds firmly to WNBA star A’ja Wilson’s ridiculous statement |T

Caitlin Clark responds to WNBA star A’ja Wilson’s claims that her meteoric rise comes down to her race: ‘The more we can share the love, the better’

 

 

Caitlin Clark has responded to WNBA star Aj’a Wilson’s claims that her meteoric rise in popularity comes down to her race ahead of her league debut on Wednesday.

Just a day after Wilson, a power forward for the Las Vegas Aces, told The Associated Press that her ‘blood boils’ when people refuse to believe that ethnicity is a factor in marketability, Clark was asked if the ‘race element’ had ever crossed her mind in her journey to the top of women’s basketball during an Indiana Fever press conference.

‘Yeah, I think there are opportunities for every single player in women’s basketball. I think the more opportunities we can give across the board, that’s what’s going to elevate women’s basketball. It doesn’t need to be one or two players. I think that even goes back to college,’ Clark told reporters on Tuesday before going up against the Connecticut Sun.

‘The parity in women’s basketball is what’s making more people want to come and watch it,’ she further pointed out. ‘And I think the more we can spread the love, show people, show their talents, show their teams, that’s just going to continue to elevate it. I think that’s the biggest thing.’

Before the 21-year-old Clark came a long list of talented white WNBA players such as Sue Bird and Breanna Stewart, but the former Iowa point guard’s fame has been a lot more noticeable than the two former Seattle Storm stars, perhaps because of her accomplishments in college with Hawkeyes and simple approach to the game.

Caitlin Clark has brushed off A'ja Wilson's race claims that there aren't as many possibilities for black players to be as popular as her

 

Caitlin Clark has brushed off A’ja Wilson’s race claims that there aren’t as many possibilities for black players to be as popular as her

Caitlin Clark responds to WNBA star A’ja Wilson’s race claims

 

Wilson - a power-forward for the Las Vegas Aces - told The Associated Press that people who don't believe race isn't a factor in marketability makes her 'blood boil'

 

Wilson – a power-forward for the Las Vegas Aces – told The Associated Press that people who don’t believe race isn’t a factor in marketability makes her ‘blood boil’

 

 

On top of back-to-back NCAA Championship appearances, Clark is now the NCAA Div. I’s all-time scoring leader (men’s and women’s) despite her shortcomings in title games, making her the WNBA’s first overall pick in the 2024 draft class. Her player profile is also relatable for lots of people, growing up in a middle-class family in ‘America’s Heartland’, a.k.a the Midwest.

On Wednesday, she remained unapologetic when asked about Wilson’s claims – an adjective Angel Reese has used many times in the past – as she revealed: ‘I’ve had a lot of fun being in the spotlight and helping grow this game and move it forward, and that’s what I’m going to continue to do.’

She also appeared confident for a rookie embarking on her first full pro season.

 

‘I think I know first-hand how talented this league is,’ Clark said, adding: ‘Whether it was me as a young kid, or whether it’s me now playing here, or how many talented players are in this league.

‘The more we can share the love, the better this league is going to be.’

The 21-year-old Clark made her competitive WNBA debut against the Connecticut Sun on Tues.

 

The 21-year-old Clark made her competitive WNBA debut against the Connecticut Sun on Tues.

A sold-out Mohegan Sun Arena - home of the Sun - was on display for Clark's first pro game

 

A sold-out Mohegan Sun Arena – home of the Sun – was on display for Clark’s first pro game

 

 

Ticket sales have surged across the WNBA on resale platforms since April, when Clark was drafted by the Fever, with her celebrity helping to bring a bigger spotlight to the women’s league, which has long trailed in popularity compared to its men’s counterpart.

Veterans and fans said the change was apparent at Mohegan Sun Arena, which had not sold out a home opener since 2003.

Fans wearing Clark jerseys crowded into seats while framed pictures of the six-foot sharpshooter were up for bid at a silent auction alongside photos of New England sports heroes like Tom Brady and Larry Bird.

‘The WNBA always gets knocked by people. We get it. We hear the jokes. But I think this is the door opening,’ said Raul Santana, a Sun season ticket holder for five years who works at the Mohegan Sun casino.

The ice-veined Clark showed no sign of nerves before tip-off, telling a throng of reporters she was simply excited to take the court.

‘There’s just a different buzz in the air,’ she said. ‘That’s what women’s basketball should be.’

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