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The Caitlin Clark effect

Over the past few years, one athlete, the all-time NCAA college basketball scoring leader, Caitlin Clark, has greatly changed the landscape of female sports. Her career at Iowa was one for the ages however her story doesn’t just end there. Now a member of the WNBA’s Indiana Fever, Caitlin Clark has the potential to become one of the greatest women’s athletes of all time, breaking records humans have never seen and gaining viewership (and respect) for all current and future women athletes.
Noah Roberson
As she led her Iowa Hawkeyes to back-to-back NCAA Championship appearances and set the NCAA all-time scoring record, Caitlin Clark attracted more male viewers to a more exciting style of basketball.

Caitlin Clark runs off of a screen from her teammate in a conference game against Michigan State with five seconds left on a ticking clock. She calls for the ball, pump fakes her shot, then dribbles to the left.

With 1.5 seconds remaining Clark rises for a three.


Her game winning shot leads the Hawkeyes to an impressive 76-73 victory over the Spartans.

In her final two years at Iowa, Caitlin Clark took her Iowa Hawkeyes to the Women’s NCAA National Championship game twice. Unfortunately, Iowa lost to both LSU and South Carolina, but that didn’t change Clark’s impact on the game of basketball.

Her impact goes far beyond those 2 losses.

In 2024 Clark broke the all-time scoring record in Division I collegiate basketball history, surpassing Pete Maravich, Basketball Hall Of Famer, by scoring her 3,685th point in a game against Ohio State.

Clark also became the first Division I basketball player to record 3,000 (plus) career points, 900 (plus) assists and 800 (plus) rebounds in her four-year career at Iowa.

She also became Iowa’s all-time leading scorer by surpassing Megan Gustafson WNBA with 2,805 points.

While all of these accomplishments are amazing, the greatest accomplishment that Clark has made (to date) is arguably the impact she has made on women’s sports.

Clark has made an impact on the younger generation, inspiring young women through her trailblazing journey and relentless pursuit of excellence. Clark even has her own foundation in which her mission is to support and improve the lives of youth.

It’s not just the younger generation that Clark has impacted, her growing legends is winning new television audiences, too. The viewership for the 2024 Final Four matchup between Iowa and UConn was the most watched women’s college basketball game in history according to NBC San Diego.

Community School of Davidson junior student-athlete, Ben Gallagher (25’), said,  “I’ve never watched a girl’s basketball game or knew any players, but now after Caitlin Clark has changed the game I know multiple players and teams”

While fans want to hone in on Clark’s impact, she is quick to share the spotlight and recognize that other young women are making a great impact on women’s basketball, as well. Players such as Ju Ju Watkins (USC), Paige Bueckers (UConn) and others are taking the game of women’s basketball to the next level.

Even though Caitlin Clark was disappointed to lose in the championship game, her sights now shift to the WNBA. As the number one overall pick (going to the Indiana Fever), the ticket prices for the Fever games quickly doubled in price according to The Gist in anticipation of her arrival.

And along with ticket prices, the Fever now have 36 out of 40 regular season games scheduled for national TV.

The Fever also plan to move some of their games to bigger stadiums such as T-Mobile Park, the Seattle Mariners baseball field.

All of this is happening before Clark has even played one pro moment.

Her Iowa jersey is now set to be retired, when draft night came on April 15th, 2024, it was marked as the highest-viewed WNBA draft in history peaking at 3.09 million viewers. Everyone wanted to witness Caitlin Clark get drafted number one overall.

Even though Caitlin Clark was pretty certain of her draft position, the moment when her name was called still seemed surreal to her.

The following day after being drafted Clark’s jersey sales were through the roof. She had more jersey sales than the Dallas Cowboys had with their entire team for the whole 2023-2024 season. Marca

It’s safe to say Caitlin Clark is going to make an immediate impact on the WNBA and women’s sports for the next several years to come.

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About the Contributors
Conner Shelton
Conner Shelton, Sports Editor. Podcast Editor

Conner Shelton is a junior at the Community School of Davidson and is returning to journalism for a second year because he wants to  further his skills by interviewing more people and exploring different types of journalistic writing. He looks forward to meeting new people and gaining knowledge on how to become the best journalist possible. 

Conner loves to play baseball and is a member of the school’s baseball team. In his free time he loves to hangout with friends, workout and play with his dog, Charley. He has one sister who is in the 7th grade and is on the middle school volleyball team. His favorite subject is chemistry. Why? Conner enjoys the hard work and dedication that the subject takes to master.

"Hard work and dedication set the foundation for achievement." -  Wander Franco

Noah Roberson
Noah Roberson, Features Editor. Editorial Editor

Noah Roberson is entering his senior year and has been at CSD since kindergarten, so some would call him a “lifer.” Now in his first year of journalism, he hopes to learn more about writing professionally and on a deadline. He wants to pursue a career in sports communications. He is drawn to classes that will help him prepare for his future. 

In his free time, Noah likes to collect and play retro video games such as old models of Nintendo, Playstation and Xbox. Finding old gems whether it’s at a yard sale or a store is always a good feeling for him. He also enjoys spending some quality time with his family especially before he eventually departs for college.

“Set your goals high, and don’t stop till you get there.” - Bo Jackson


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