The Student News Site of Palo Alto High School

The Campanile

The Campanile

The Campanile

Caitlin Clark on her way to inspire, transform WNBA

Caitlin Clark on her way to inspire, transform WNBA

NCAA men’s basketball hosted its first collegiate March Madness tournament in 1939. The tournament initially only consisted of eight teams, and over time, has turned into one of the biggest sports events in America. Every year, March Madness averages 9 million views and around 1 billion dollars in annual revenue. 

Yet despite this massive rise, there remains a crucial question –– why hasn’t women’s college basketball garnered the same attention? 

At the beginning 2020-21 season, the Iowa Hawkeyes brought in Caitlin Clark, a six-foot shooting guard from Dowling Catholic High School, to change the future of the franchise. Clark started the season off strong, averaging 26.6 points and 47.2% from the field. With such stats for a freshman, it was no surprise she started to form an exponential fanbase as time progressed. 

Junior Emil Bothe, a self-described college basketball fan, said Clark is making an impact on women’s basketball for younger generations and redefining how the game is played in terms of promotion of the sport, and what it means for the WNBA to start getting the attention it deserves.
“The way it used to be is that you could play basketball as a woman, but you definitely wouldn’t have sold-out crowds watching you the same way that men’s games do,” Bothe said. “With the way she’s promoting the sport purely off of her play, it’s making girls around the world dream of playing in front of crowds and being a star.”

To add to her historic season as a senior and her time spent with the Hawkeyes, Clark broke the NCAA Division 1 single-season scoring record for both men and women (male or female) in a win against Ohio State. By the end of the regular season, she was averaging 32.2 points per game, approximately 8 more points than the top 10 highest-scoring players in the league

Bothe also said Clark’s athletic skills have brought an unprecedented amount of attention to female basketball in general. 

“I personally have never really watched women’s basketball before, but just with all the hype around her and in some of the recent March Madness games I’ve watched recently it’s definitely changed my perspective on the game,” Bothe said. “It’s also very difficult to replicate the skill that NBA stars have but I see that type of talent in her.” 

With the season coming to an end, Clark is projected to be the first overall pick in the 2024 WNBA draft. Clark and her Iowa Hawkeyes team helped draw over three million people to watch the first round of the women’s March Madness game this year against The College of Holy Cross and an audience of nearly five million in the second round overtime victory against West Virginia. In the final two loss against South Carolina, 14.2 million viewers tuned in to watch making it the most-viewed women’s basketball game ever and the largest audience for an ESPN basketball broadcast which shows the incredible shift of attention that women’s basketball fully deserves. 


Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Rahul Shetty
Rahul Shetty, Staff Writer
Donate to The Campanile
Our Goal

Comments (0)

All The Campanile Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *