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The student news site of Colonia High School

The Declaration

The student news site of Colonia High School

The Declaration

Is Caitlin Clark worth the hype?

Photo Credit: John Mac
During the game versus Minnesota Caitlin Clark gets ready to play defense after an offensive possession.

The 2024 WNBA 1st overall draft pick, Caitlin Clark, has been recently getting a lot of hype. The 22-year-old women’s basketball player averaged 34.8 minutes out of the 139 total games played in her college career at the University of Iowa. Averaging 28.4 ppg, 8.2 assists, and 7.1 rebounds, Caitlin Clark shattered dozens of NCAA and Big Ten Conference Records.

Before the fame

Being an athlete has always been one of Clark’s hobbies and passions. As a kid, she played softball, volleyball, tennis, and golf before focusing on basketball. A family of athletes raised Clark. Her grandfather, father, uncles, and brother have a history of sports involvement. Competing in an all-boy recreational basketball league, Clark started playing ball at five years old. In her hometown, West Des Moines, there weren’t many girls leagues so Clark played with the boys. The point guard attended Dowling Catholic High School and was declared a McDonald’s All-American and graduated high school being ranked the fourth-best player in her graduating class. Clark soon made her decision to continue her academic and athletic career at the University of Iowa.

The new rookie

Clark, the No.1 WNBA draft, “has been elevating women’s basketball since her days at Iowa and her rivalry with LSU and their former star Angel Reese“. Although Clark is a rookie in the league and has accomplished incredible things in college, there has been an extraordinary amount of hype around her which is a bit perplexing. Apart from shooting long-distance threes, being in the Final Four NCAA tournament, the NCAA’s Division I women’s career scoring leader, many women have done remarkable things in women’s basketball history. But with all the hype comes a load of responsibility and attention. It seems like the media finds every reason to magnify every move Clark makes. But is it necessary?

Attention and mental health

The subject of attention and scrutiny in the public eye can take a toll on an athlete. The pressure, criticisms, and comparisons make it difficult to focus on the sport alone. Clark has no problem attracting reporters or fans and increasing the sales and viewer numbers at games. Her ability to hit long-range “logo threes” off the dribble. This ability stretches defenses and adds an exhilarating quality to her game, thrilling spectators and putting enormous pressure on opponents. Clark’s confidence and accuracy at taking these deep shots add considerably to her popularity and influence in the game. But there has been a growing dislike towards Caitlin in recent games, particularly due to a notable incident where Chicago’s Chennedy Carter forcefully pushed Clark, leading her to tumble to the ground. The unsportsmanlike behavior was ruled as a flagrant foul after reviewed by the WNBA. But was their malice intent behind it the bigger question?

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A new world

According to recent stats, Clark seems to be doing well and performing better than most rookies. Handling the pressure may not be a problem in her case. It even seems like she is thriving because of it. In today’s society, social media is essential to how news spreads which was not the case when veteran WNBA players were drafted. Many opportunities present themselves for notable players like Caitlin Clark, Angel Reese, Flau’Jae Johnson, and Paige Bueckers. Eligibility to endorse NIL deals has also made a huge impact. “They have brought more money to the women’s basketball game, more investments, and more sponsorships. And it just means that people care a little bit more about women’s basketball because they’re investing so much into it” as repeated by Isis Young in Yahoo Sports Videos. But as viewers, it is important to recognize the whole world of women’s basketball from former WNBA players to young middle school ballers, and see what there is to offer.


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About the Contributor
Oreofeoluwa I. Gidado
Oreofeoluwa Isabel Gidado is a sixteen-year-old Colonia High School student. She participates in a variety of sports and hobbies. The sports she plays include basketball, track and volleyball. Gidado is active is the following clubs: Student Council, FCA, and SPTS. Gidado has played varsity basketball for three years. It is her favorite sport because it combines sports with faith, which is very important to her. FCA is her favorite club. Despite being the eldest of three children, Gidado comes from a huge Nigerian family. Since it's easier for people to pronounce, she goes by "Izzy" instead of her first name.  She enjoys volunteering at recreational games, church, food banks, and sports camps in her free time. Gidado's passions include traveling, exploring, taking pictures, experiencing life with her loved ones and giving back to the community. As she gets older, she hopes to visit London, Brazil, Jamaica and many more to add to her list.

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