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WNBA Draft 2024: Caitlin Clark heads to Indiana and Angel Reese is off to Chicago

  

Category:  News & Politics

Via:  perrie-halpern  •  one month ago  •  12 comments

By:   David K. Li

WNBA Draft 2024: Caitlin Clark heads to Indiana and Angel Reese is off to Chicago
Caitlin Clark is headed to Indiana Fever in WNBA draft's top pick

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T


The Indiana Fever selected University of Iowa superstar Caitlin Clark with the top overall pick of the WNBA draft Monday night, setting a pro stage for the game's most transformative player.

There was absolutely no surprise when WNBA commissioner Catherine Engelbert told an ESPN audience and a packed house at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in New York that the remarkably popular Clark had been selected by Indianapolis.

Clark strolled into the hall rocking a two-piece Prada set, with a miniskirt and a jacket atop a midriff-baring sparkle tank.

"I always just believed in myself,"Clark told ESPN and fans. "My parents always instilled confidence in me from a young age, when I was a young girl."

Stanford's Cameron Brink went at No. 2 to the Los Angeles Sparks. She was overcome with emotion and warned fans in the hall: "I'm an ugly crier."

She thanked her family and friends, including her godmother, Sonya Curry, the mother of Golden State Warriors superstar Steph Curry.

"It really takes a village. It's not a one-person job," Brink said. "I'm so blessed to have the people I have surrounding me."

South Carolina's 6-foot-7 post player Kamilla Cardoso went No. 3 to the Chicago Sky, Tennessee's Rickea Jackson was the No. 4 pick by the Sparks, Ohio State's Jacy Sheldon will join the Dallas Wings at No. 5, and Connecticut's Aaliyah Edwards was selected at No. 6 by the Washington Mystics.

Angel Reese of LSU, perhaps the second-best-known player in college basketball, was the draft's No. 7 pick, by Chicago, where she'll team up with longtime rival Cardoso.

"I came from Baltimore. I'm not supposed to be here," an emotional Reese said, thanking her mother and her brother for the lifetime of support.

Utah's Alissa Pili, who is Samoan and native Alaskan, was picked at No. 8 by the Minnesota Lynx.

"A lot of indigenous and Polynesian girls don't get to see that role model, and I'm just so blessed that I can be in a position to be that for them," she said.

French players went Nos. 9 and 10, with Carla Leite and Leila Lacan going to the Dallas Wings and the Connecticut Sun, respectively.

The hometown New York Liberty, at No. 11, selected Marquesha Davis, from Mississippi. The last pick of the first round, by the Atlanta Dream, was Australian Nyadiew Puoch.

While a dozen players had their first-round dreams come true, Monday night belonged to Clark.

"I'm excited to get there. I'm excited to get to Indianapolis," she said.

Even though there was no surprise with Clark's pick, thousands of Fever fans gathered to cheer the selection.

"Caitlin is one of the most naturally gifted basketball players I have ever seen enter the WNBA from the college level," Fever coach Christie Sides said.

"Her shooting and passing abilities captivated an entire audience of basketball fans, and her ability to make those around her better was even more evident during her collegiate career," Sides said.

With Clark on the Fever's roster, even casual basketball fans will be keeping a close eye on Indiana's games.

The Fever's first preseason game is set for May 3, against the Dallas Wings in Arlington, Texas. The team's regular-season opener is scheduled for May 14, when Indiana visits the Connecticut Sun at Mohegan Sun Arena.

Indiana's home opener is two days later, at Gainbridge Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, against the New York Liberty.

The Fever finished last in the WNBA's Eastern Conference last season, winning just 13 of 40 games. But Clark's arrival in Indianapolis, less than 400 miles away from Iowa's Carver-Hawkeye Arena, has already made the Fever appointment TV.

The WNBA has scheduled 36 of Indiana's 40 games to be shown on national broadcast and streaming partners. The Fever occupied that center stage 22 times last season.

Clark's arrival in Indiana means she'll be paired with former South Carolina star and onetime rival Aliyah Boston.

Clark famously scored 41 points in last year's national semifinal game, leading Iowa past Boston's then-undefeated South Carolina.

Clark, the two-time national player of the year, just ended the most heralded career in the history of women's college basketball. She brought unprecedented attention to the women's game.

She scored 30 points in the NCAA championship game, ending her career with 3,951 points, more than anyone else in the history of top-flight college basketball.

But it was Clark's dynamic style of play that captured the public's imagination and brought record attention.

In Iowa's national semifinal victory over perennial powerhouse Connecticut, an average of 14.2 million viewers tuned into ESPN — the most for any basketball game, college or pro, on the all-sports channel.

Then, two days later, more than 18.9 million viewers watched No. 1-seeded South Carolina score sweet revenge and topple Clark's Hawkeyes.

The men's title game a day later, when Connecticut beat Purdue, had 14.8 million viewers, Nielsen said, marking the first time the women's final had drawn more watchers.


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Vic Eldred
Professor Principal
1  Vic Eldred    one month ago

Where are the female members?

We should all congratulate these young women.

 
 
 
Snuffy
Professor Participates
1.1  Snuffy  replied to  Vic Eldred @1    one month ago

Agreed. Clark is one hell of an athlete and she should rightfully be proud of what she's accomplished. It will be interesting to watch her career going forward. There are a lot of amazing athletes at the college level who sort of disappear once they reach the pros. She will be surrounded by amazing athletes at the pro level where at the college level there may be one or two such athletes in a game. 

I wish her luck. Now all that really needs to happen is that the WNBA needs to set pay scales similar to the NBA.

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
Professor Principal
1.1.1  Vic Eldred  replied to  Snuffy @1.1    one month ago
Now all that really needs to happen is that the WNBA needs to set pay scales similar to the NBA.

Stars like Clark will help. More fans mean more money.

 
 
 
Snuffy
Professor Participates
1.1.2  Snuffy  replied to  Vic Eldred @1.1.1    one month ago
Now all that really needs to happen is that the WNBA needs to set pay scales similar to the NBA.
Stars like Clark will help. More fans mean more money.

As will the statements from other professional players. Clark's salary has been disclosed, the WNBA salaries are still ridiculously low.

As the selection was made, social media started to break down her expected salary through the first four years of her career. Barstool Sports cited numbers from Spotrac, which indicated Clark’s contract is worth about $338,000 over four years, and she will make just over $76,500 in her first season with the Fever.

Pittsburgh Steelers   quarterback Russell Wilson wrote on X that Clark and other WNBA players should be paid more.

"These ladies deserve so much more… Praying for the day," Wilson wrote in a post.

NFL star Russell Wilson calls for WNBA players to get paid more after Caitlin Clark's rookie salary revealed | Fox News

 
 
 
Ronin2
Professor Quiet
1.1.3  Ronin2  replied to  Snuffy @1.1.2    one month ago

Sorry, until the WNBA can equal NBA's popularity, attendance, and tv contract money- their pay needs to be based on what they can bring in.

Which is why I don't understand why the WNBA players for the most part are throwing shade on Clark? They should be hyping her up trying to increase attendance. They had better hope she doesn't flop- because their ratings will suffer for it- and the fans that follow Clark from college will quickly disappear.

Besides the NBA already subsidizes the WNBA- how much more can anyone expect?

The NBA provides the WNBA with an annual endowment of over  $15 million . This financial support helps cover various operating costs for WNBA teams, including facilities, travel, marketing, and administration. As of 2023, the NBA owns  50%  of the WNBA, while the 12 WNBA teams collectively own the other  50% . This shared ownership underscores the NBA’s commitment to women’s basketball..

Think the NBA owners are making any money off their investment in the WNBA?

 
 
 
Sean Treacy
Professor Principal
1.1.4  Sean Treacy  replied to  Ronin2 @1.1.3    one month ago
is why I don't understand why the WNBA players for the most part are throwing shade on Clark? T

It's insane. She's their ticket to relevance and higher income and the response from the league members has been pettiness. 

 
 
 
Ronin2
Professor Quiet
1.1.5  Ronin2  replied to  Sean Treacy @1.1.4    one month ago

She isn't black, period.

They think she is only getting the hype because she is white. They don't like that white girls "Wannabe like Caitlin".

I will give the NBA credit they rode Jordan for all he was worth when he entered the NBA and it took them to new heights of popularity.

 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
2  JohnRussell    one month ago

People , both men and women, can relate more to the women's game. Its not all about dunking and showboating.

The women players seem to be having more fun too. 

 
 
 
Drinker of the Wry
Junior Expert
2.1  Drinker of the Wry  replied to  JohnRussell @2    one month ago
People , both men and women, can relate more to the women's game. Its not all about dunking and showboating. The women players seem to be having more fun too.

Agree.  I first discovered woman's basketball when my daughter got interested in sports.  She left B Ball for V ball but I stayed. 

The difference in draft eligibility is part of the woman's game difference.  These teams have played together much more than men's teams were the pro eligible leave early.  With woman on a fast break, they make three or four precise passes moving it down court and go for a layup off the glass or with an outside shot that Caitlin makes.  Men heave the ball down court, shooter takes 22-3 steps (with no walking call) and powers it in from the foul line.  

Instead of a one on one game, woman play a five on five game. They relay more on skill, team and strategy to make up for a less power but just as competitive game.  I enjoy that style of play more.  You see the same in the Olympics.  I've lost tract of the WNBA,  used to take my daughter to see the Mystics but didn't see them much on TV.  Maybe I'll start looking a little harder.

 
 
 
Outis
Freshman Principal
2.1.1  Outis  replied to  Drinker of the Wry @2.1    one month ago

If you'd like to see some excellent 5 on 5, the women's Euroleague title game was just a few days ago. Valanciennes (France) held on for almost a half against overwhelming favorite Fenerbahçe (Turkey)... and then got crushed by 30 at the end.

It's true that the women have less power, but they have just as much engagement... and that's what a fan wants to see.

 
 
 
Drinker of the Wry
Junior Expert
2.1.2  Drinker of the Wry  replied to  Outis @2.1.1    one month ago
It's true that the women have less power, but they have just as much engagement... and that's what a fan wants to see.

Completely agree, they master the fundamentals, practice team work, and provide for me, a more enjoyable engagement.

I also enjoy woman’s volley ball at the collegiate and Olympics.

Thanks for the tip, I’ll look for that game.

 
 
 
devangelical
Professor Principal
3  devangelical    one month ago

my nephew's wife took their 2 daughters to see her play in minnesota a couple weeks ago. both are in competitive hoops and play above their age groups. my nephews wife went thru college on a hoops scholarship. my family supports title 9 for women's sports.

 
 

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