Caitlin Clark: A Record-Breaking Season and Another Player of the Year Award

Caitlin Clark is capping her illustrious collegiate career with another record-breaking season and another series of awards.

Iowa’s star guard was honored Thursday as The Associated Press women’s college basketball Player of the Year for the second consecutive year.

Iowa guard Caitlin Clark poses during Iowa’s NCAA college basketball media day, Thursday, Oct. 28, 2021, in Iowa City, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Clark received 35 votes from the 36-member national media panel that votes on the AP Top 25 each week. Stanford’s Cameron Brink received the other vote, which was completed before the NCAA tournament began.

Clark, 22, is the sixth player to win the award more than once and the fifth to do so in consecutive seasons.

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The NCAA Division I career scoring leader set numerous records while helping Iowa reach the Final Four for the second straight season. A semifinal showdown with UConn awaits Friday night in Cleveland.

Clark’s play with his deep logo 3-pointers and dazzling passes has captured the hearts of fans who showed up in their thousands wearing his No. 22 jersey whether Iowa was home or away all season long.

“I think that’s the best part of what I can do. I grew up having those role models and aspiring to be where I am today,” Clark said. “It’s super special to see your impact not only in the state of Iowa but across the country. … Being able to have that impact on the next generation is really special, and you just hope to dream and aspire to be like you one day and pursue all their dreams.”

Rival coaches have called her a generational talent and tried to stifle her creativity and scoring, but she averaged 31.9 points, 7.3 rebounds and 8.9 assists during the regular season to help Iowa go 29-4 and be one of the first seeded in the NCAA tournament.

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Its games have become a fixture for millions of viewers (the Elite Eight rematch against LSU earlier this week was watched by more than 12 million, a record for any women’s college basketball game) and further raised the profile of the sport now enjoying a surge in popularity. She is the presumptive No. 1 pick in the WNBA draft later this month, a spot held by the Indiana Fever.

Clark was quick to give credit to her teammates and coach, noting that women’s basketball had stars like Lynette Woodard and Pearl Moore and many others long before she began dazzling fans in an era when They can easily find dozens of games on television each season.

Her college career will come to an end this weekend and it’s been quite a ride for the West Des Moines native.

“I feel like I’ve talked about her, I’ve used every word imaginable to describe her,” coach Lisa Bluder said. “She’s spectacular. I don’t know how else to describe what she does on the basketball court.”

2024-04-04 21:00:00
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