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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UC Berkeley chapter.

If there was ever a college basketball player to keep your tabs on, it would be Caitlin Clark. Clark is a guard for Iowa University’s Hawkeyes and is known as a hometown hero for being prolific at basketball but also being two hours away.

In recent years, Clark has climbed in the public eye for being nearly impossible to guard, being able to score from almost anywhere on the court, and being part of the reason that last year’s NCAA women’s tournament final had a viewership of 10 million. This year though, Clark has made the news for a different reason. On February 15, with only being a couple minutes into the game against Michigan, Clark became the all-time leading scorer in NCAA women’s basketball surpassing Kelsey Plum.

Coming into Thursday’s game, Clark only needed about eight points to surpass Plum. Since Clark has achieved being a 66.1 percent shooter as of now, this was not a hard task. Rather as Clark was about to break the record, she shot her signature long three-pointer to thunderous applause. It would be later on when Clark was talking to the press that the viewer at home would know that this was her plan all along. Having a plan like this is also not outrageous considering that Clark has only rarely ever scored less than 10 points in her career at Iowa so far. And, secondly by the end of the night, she would end up scoring 49 points which is a career high for Clark besides being almost half of the points that Iowa needed to beat Michigan.

Keeping all this in mind, the media attention that was garnered afterward is fully warranted and is only maybe a quarter of what Clark, plus other players within all levels of women’s basketball, deserve. 

It’s no secret that women’s basketball has followed a similar pattern to how other women’s sports have been treated. This pattern is marked with victories and splintering with a high profile example being the Women’s Baseball League during the 1940s or the fact that equal pay is still being fought for in sports like soccer across the globe. In both these instances, a reader at home can see that these teams achieved becoming a league in the case of baseball or the USA’s national soccer team getting an equal pay for their organization. Then, you can see the splintering right after with the women’s baseball league going under only a couple of years after WW2 and the fact that equal pay for national women’s soccer teams is still not universal. Bringing both of these examples to light reminds us all where sports have come and still need to go, but also a possibility for what Caitlin Clark could mean: women’s basketball becoming a supernova in the public eye. 

Clark is what perhaps hasn’t been seen in a long time in college sports: an athlete with consistent growth and a somewhat theatrical playing style. Caitlin Clark is also the projected first-draft pick in the upcoming WNBA draft with her team being the Indiana Fever (Iowa doesn’t currently have a WNBA team, but there are talks of expansion per the Guardian). These two things combined suggest that, with the fanbase that has amounted from her years at Iowa, Clark could bring the viewership to the WNBA too. 

As the WNBA grows, Clark could push it even further considering her college career helped the NCAA women’s tournament get a big deal with ESPN per the Guardian. Women’s basketball and all women’s sports deserve to have tens of millions of viewers. This is for players like Clark but also many other players across all the other leagues that have incredible talents that deserve to be as honored and in the public eye, such as NBA players Larry Bird or Michael Jordan.

Overall, with all the stats that Clark has to her name, there’s a good reason to believe that Clark being the thing that our society responds to the most — a living legend in the making — is what in part women’s basketball could also have to boost itself even more.

Haley Morrill

UC Berkeley '25

Haley is a 3rd year at UC Berkeley, who is an art major. She loves to write about the arts, culture, and more! When Haley is not studying, you can find her going to art museums, trying every version of a mocha, or making art. She is very excited to continue with the Her Campus team and is looking forward to the year ahead.