Sports

Caitlin Clark hoped Fever got No. 1 pick in WNBA Draft, says team taking her was ‘pretty set in stone’

Caitlin Clark was thinking about how her Iowa Hawkeyes were going to beat their Big Ten Conference foe, the Wisconsin Badgers, on Dec. 10, 2023. But she admitted also having a keen eye on the WNBA Draft Lottery that would determine who owned the No. 1 pick in 2024. 

“When the draft lottery happened, I had a game on the same exact night, but I was hoping the Fever got the first pick,” Clark told “The Pat McAfee Show” on Wednesday, two days after she was taken by the Indiana Fever first overall. 

It was a no-brainer for Indiana, a team that already saw an uptick in season-ticket purchases as everyone in women’s basketball expected Clark, the NCAA all-time leading scorer, would be staying in the Midwest. 

Caitlin Clark poses with jersey

Caitlin Clark of the Indiana Fever poses for a photo with Lin Dunn and Christie Sides during her introductory press conference on April 17, 2024 at Gainbridge Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Ron Hoskins/NBAE via Getty Images)

Seeing the Fever own the top pick, Clark was excited, knowing she had the opportunity to stay relatively close to home. 

“Obviously, I’m a Midwest girl, I’m from Iowa. This is five hours from Iowa City, seven hours from Des Moines where I grew up. But I’m super pumped — this is a basketball state. People love it here,” she said. 

And, of course, Clark knew she would be the one taken first off the draft board. 

CAITLIN CLARK SELECTED NO. 1 OVERALL BY INDIANA FEVER IN 2024 WNBA DRAFT

“Yeah, it was pretty set in stone for the most part,” she said smiling to McAfee. 

While loving being close to home, Clark is excited about playing with her new teammates, including Aliyah Boston, the No. 1 pick of the 2023 Draft out of South Carolina. Boston and Clark played together for Team USA. 

Caitlin Clark smiles at press conference

Caitlin Clark of the Indiana Fever talks to the media during an introductory press conference on April 17, 2024 at Gainbridge Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Ron Hoskins/NBAE via Getty Images)

There’s also Tamika Catchings, a Fever and WNBA legend who Clark knows she can lean on as she transitions into the league.

Clark’s impact on the Fever, and the WNBA in general, is expected to be immediate in terms of production for her team and growth of women’s basketball. Her spotlight is only going to get bigger, but Clark explained a crucial piece of advice she’s used as her popularity skyrocketed. 

“One of the best pieces of advice that somebody gave me is at the level you feel all the praise, that’s the same level you’ll feel all the hate. So, I try to stay right in the middle,” she said. 

Caitlin Clark takes questions at press conference

Caitlin Clark of the Indiana Fever talks to the media during an introductory press conference on April 17, 2024 at Gainbridge Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Ron Hoskins/NBAE via Getty Images)

The McAfee crew, which films their daily podcast in Indianapolis, noted getting season tickets already, as they can’t wait to see Clark tear up the Fever floor.

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