WNBA Draft’s No. 1 Pick: Caitlin Clark Fulfilling a Dream Spanning Back to 2nd Grade.

WNBA Draft's No. 1 Pick Caitlin Clark Fulfilling a Dream Spanning Back to 2nd Grade.

Caitlin Clark, the standout player from the University of Iowa who gained widespread recognition during March Madness and has made history in college basketball, was chosen as the top pick in the 2024 WNBA draft by the Indiana Fever. The selection took place on Monday night at the Brooklyn Academy of Music.

Reflecting on the momentous occasion, Clark expressed her feelings, stating, “Even though I knew where I was headed, there’s still a bit of nervous excitement when the commissioner announces your name.” Speaking on “Good Morning America” the following day, she shared, “It’s a moment I’ve envisioned since second grade. Being surrounded by my family at that table, sharing the joy with them, was incredibly special.”

Offering advice to aspiring athletes, particularly young girls, Clark emphasized the importance of dreaming big. “I always believed in myself and bet on my abilities. My parents instilled confidence in me from a young age, never doubting what I could achieve. But alongside that, I put in the hard work,” she explained. “Earning this opportunity fills me with pride. I’ve worked tirelessly for it, and nothing was handed to me. The key is to believe in oneself.”

Acknowledging the weight of expectations, Clark maintained a positive outlook, recognizing the privilege of playing the game she loves. “Despite the pressure, at the end of the day, it’s just a game. I feel incredibly fortunate,” she remarked.

The Indiana Fever, buoyed by Clark’s arrival, has witnessed a surge in ticket sales, with the majority of their games slated for broadcast. Clark noted the enthusiasm for basketball in Indiana, expressing gratitude for joining an organization with strong support for women’s basketball.

Looking ahead to the challenges of professional play, Clark exuded confidence. “I’m not nervous; I’m eager and prepared,” she asserted. “I felt ready to take on this new chapter in my career, which is why I decided to forego another year in college. Both mentally and skill-wise, I believe I’m equipped for this level of competition.”

Despite her accomplishments on the court, Clark admitted to nerves during her appearance on “Saturday Night Live,” emphasizing the contrast between performing on a national stage and playing basketball.

As she assumes the role of a public figure in the sport, Clark remains grounded, crediting her support system for keeping her grounded. “It’s about staying true to myself and relying on my team, both on and off the court,” she affirmed. “While there are moments of pressure, I choose to view this journey as an enjoyable one. I feel incredibly fortunate to be living my dream.”

Throughout her career, the Iowa native shattered records and showcased her competitive spirit, which was shaped by her upbringing and family dynamics. Recalling her childhood, Clark attributed her drive to emulate her older brother to the influence of her father’s athletic background.

In a heartwarming message, Clark’s former third-grade teacher extended congratulations, reminiscing about her time in the classroom and expressing pride in her achievements. Laughing at the “cute” video, Clark said, “She had to deal with me in third grade, and I was so competitive. Sorry to her, I feel bad.”

“They always had my parents come in and have meetings about me being too competitive in PE class,” she recalled.

Earlier this year, Clark announced that she planned to forego her last season of college hoops to enter the WNBA draft.

“I’m just kind of ready for the next chapter and a new challenge in my life,” Clark told “Good Morning America” co-anchor Robin Roberts in March. “And what I’ve been able to do here has been very, very special. But I think the reason I decided to announce it when I did was just to have that closure.”

Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Sparks selected Cameron Brink as the No. 2 pick in the 2024 WNBA draft. Hailing from Beaverton, Oregon, the 22-year-old became the first women’s basketball player to sign an NIL deal with New Balance in 2023.

Brink broke the program record for career blocks as a junior and won an NCAA championship with Stanford in 2021 under Tara VanDerveer, the winningest coach of all time, who also announced her retirement after this season.

Kamilla Cardoso, hailing from Brazil, was the No. 3 overall draft, selected by the Chicago Sky.

The 6-foot-7 star began her basketball career at Syracuse and later transferred to South Carolina, where she won two NCAA national championships. After a masterful performance in the NCAA Tournament, the 22-year-old was awarded the most outstanding player in this year’s championship game.

23-year-old Rickea Jackson was selected by the Los Angeles Spark at No. 4. Hailing from Detroit, Jackson was a finalist for the Cheryl Miller Award as Division I’s best small forward while playing for Tennessee, according to the WNBA, and is the fourth-leading scorer in Lady Vol’s program history.

The Dallas Wings have selected Ohio State guard Jacy Sheldon as No. 5.

Aaliyah Edwards of UConn was the overall 6th pick drafted by the Washington Mystics. The 6-foot-4 forward from Kingston, Ontario, helped UConn to three NCAA Final Four appearances. Edwards was the youngest member of the Canadian women’s national team at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, according to the WNBA.

Angel Reese, the celebrated Baltimore native turned “Bayou Barbie,” was selected at No. 7 by the Chicago Sky. Reese, 21, became a sensation following Louisiana State University’s victory over Iowa in the 2023 NCAA women’s basketball championship.

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