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The news that keeps us Onward On!
Since 1925
The news that keeps us Onward On!

The Carroll News

The news that keeps us Onward On!

The Carroll News

Letters from Leah: Caitlin Clark has changed the trajectory of women’s basketball

© ArchibaldHip
Clark continues to shape women’s basketball with her undeniable talent.

Iowa women’s basketball has solidified a spot in the NCAA Final Four, a back-to-back appearance for the Hawkeyes. But, a significant reason why the squad clinched a semifinal spot is because of Caitlin Clark, Iowa’s beyond impressive point guard who is now a household name.

Clark has 3,900 points on her career, but the accomplishments don’t stop there. The senior standout is now the NCAA men’s and women’s all-time leading scorer, with 57 separate 30+ point performances (as well as an NCAA men’s and women’s all-time record).

Listing Clark’s accolades would require a long-form story, simply because the Iowa silencer continues to dismantle records with each game played. However, for me, as a former women’s basketball player, Clark’s legacy has reached beyond the stat book.

To be a female athlete is to understand that your play, talent and abilities are under intense scrutiny. While a significant amount of progress has been made over the last decade, the disparities between men’s and women’s athletics is profound. Thanks to Clark and Iowa, viewership has seen a dramatic increase and general respect for the women’s side of the game is evident.

With 9.9 million viewers on ABC and EPSN2 tuning into the Iowa v. LSU Elite Eight game, it was clear that serious populations were interested in watching greatness unfold.

Regardless of what happens in the Final Four, I’m thrilled to have been part of the contingent watching the rise of women’s basketball. To see female athletes execute on the largest stage is both entertaining and invigorating. I can guarantee that young girls, all with dreams of playing at the highest level, watch Clark and feel a sense of hope for what the future can hold; hope is one of the most significant forces that drives passion.

My basketball skill set was, and still is, pretty limited. But what I loved most about the game was the ability to be competitive. Putting female athletes in positions where they can be powerful, strong and intense truly sets the foundation for a young woman that is confident, sure of herself and willing to take risks.

That’s why athletes like Clark are essential in promoting athletics to younger generations of girls: it shows them that they can be composed, but gritty. It sets an example for girls as innately full of power and strength, a narrative that’s been in the works for centuries.

Keep women in sports and remain confident in what women can do. There is so much to admire, love and support in women’s athletics. Hopefully, Clark’s legacy will infiltrate other sports, other avenues and continue to change the realm of female athletics for years to come.

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