Basketball-No pressure says Clark as fans follow her to WNBA

By Thomson Reuters May 9, 2024 | 1:38 PM

By Amy Tennery

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Indiana Fever’s Caitlin Clark is embracing the moment as she brings super-sized star power from the collegiate game to the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA).

The first pick in the draft left television ratings shattered in her wake as Iowa’s fearsome sharpshooter and now she is bringing more eyes to the top-flight American league ahead of her regular-season debut next week.

Clark is no stranger to the media circus after breaking the all-time NCAA scoring record in her final college season and told reporters that she was keeping her focus on the court.

“It’s just something you embrace and you enjoy and you navigate it,” Clark told reporters on Thursday.

“Maybe it’ll be different or it’ll be super loud or whatever it is. But, more than anything, I think it’s just an exciting opportunity. So just embrace it and go about it like that more than feeling overwhelmed.”

Clark will get a taste of an ecstatic home crowd for the first time on Thursday when the Fever host the Atlanta Dream in a pre-season contest.

Indiana fans have embraced the six-foot guard, who received a standing ovation from the crowd at a Pacers NBA playoffs game last month. Ticket sales for the Fever were more than 13 times higher on resale platform StubHub compared to last year.

Clark’s team mate, last year’s unanimous rookie of the year Aliyah Boston, said the Fever had energy around them going into the season.

“Having Caitlin here is just great for this franchise, for the people of Indiana, just because of how many eyes that she draws,” said Boston.

“Having fans, having everyone come, everyone’s just excited to watch you play. I mean, Caitlin has continued to open the doors for a lot of people just because of the attention that she draws.”

(Reporting by Amy Tennery in New York; Editing by Ken Ferris)