THE EARLY LEAD | How Caitlin Clark has captivated a basketball fanatic and sparked a revolution

By Brandon Hurley
Managing Editor

I used to describe Iowa’s Caitlin Clark as the Steph Curry of women’s basketball.

That moniker is no longer good enough. She’s easily outgrown it.

There’s only one Caitlin Clark.

I’m not doing her greatness justice by comparing her to another player. She’s one of a kind, easily the most exciting college basketball player today, men’s or women’s.
We’ve never seen anything like her in the women’s game. What we are witnessing is a revolution, a transformation right before our eyes.
Clark is thriving, continuing to transcend the sport, breathing life into crowds across the country, captivating even the biggest stars, talented superstars like Kevin Durant and Patrick Mahomes.
The Hawkeye is always a threat to score or to make a dazzling play, no matter where she is on the court.

What makes Clark’s ascension unique is where she grew up. She’s an Iowa girl, starring at Dowling Catholic High School in West Des Moines. She averaged 33 points and eight assists as a senior in 2019-20, drilling a staggering 84 three-pointers. She’s only continued her meteoric rise since those prep days.

Clark has quickly reached superstar status, and it’s easy to pinpoint why. She’s an electrifying athlete, one who draws crowds no matter the occasion. The Hawks always have a chance to win whenever the guard steps onto the court.
In all honesty, I occasionally paid attention to women’s college basketball prior to Clark’s arrival. I kept tabs on ISU because I went to school with the coach’s son, and Iowa’s Megan Gustafson peaked my interest momentarily, but since Clark has been launching bombs from Dodge Street, I’ve been glued to every game.

She’s can’t miss television - that’s rare air for a women’s athlete from Iowa.

We may even be in for two more years of Clark, if her interview on the Dan Patrick Show Monday is any indication. She hinted at possibly taking advantage of COVID year, which by then, she’ll hopefully be known as the greatest women’s college basketball player in history.
Clark has purposefully modeled her game after NBA guards, which is evident in her style of play. She’s confident, bordering on arrogant, but I can’t blame her. She’s an unstoppable force.
In her interview with Patrick, Clark said she learned the sport from her brothers and then closely began following the Association. She was drawn to how Steph Curry could takeover a game by merely shooting.
Remarkably, Clark’s long distance flame-throwers are at times more exciting than a dunk. Her pull-up, transition three-ball from 27 feet is electrifying, even if everyone in the entire building knows its coming.

She’s just that good.

What I love most about Clark’s game is not her ridiculous shooting ability, but the way she sees the court. She’s an unbelievable passer, someone that could excel at any level of basketball. Her incredible vision leads to a bevy of spectacular dimes. Clark launches full court passes into a perfect spot, completing the fast break with ease. She easily predicts where her teammates are going to be before they even arrive, hitting tiny windows for a quick bucket.
There hasn’t been anyone since Steph Curry during his Davidson days that has captivated my attention like she has.

Clark isn’t human and never fails to dazzle each time out.

What she did Feb. 27 in front of a national TV audience against the second-ranked team is what legends are made of. She dropped 34 points, nine rebounds and nine assists and punctuated her dazzling performance with one of the most exciting buzzer-beaters in Iowa women’s history.
She’s on another level, an athlete who’s never fazed. Pressure does not rattle her, it seems to only motivate Clark to play at an even higher level. The Hawks finished the season ranked No. 2 thanks to Clark's ridiculous 30-point triple-double in the Big Ten Tournament championship game March 5 in Minneapolis.
If you haven’t had a chance to check Superwoman out just yet, I’d recommend tuning in. She’s an absolute joy to watch.

We are truly blessed. I’m thankful to call myself a fellow Iowan.

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