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The Forum

The Student News Site of the Latin School of Chicago

The Forum

The Student News Site of the Latin School of Chicago

The Forum

Caitlin Clark and Her Iowa Hawkeyes Floor the Nation

Sofia Grimm
Student looking at Women’s March Madness bracket.

Women’s college basketball captured the attention of the nation this year like never before, thanks to superstar player Caitlin Clark and her Iowa Hawkeyes.

“She has made the game so much more exciting and has changed the public perception of women’s sports,” Latin sophomore and varsity basketball player Ariel Goodman said. “She has brought women’s basketball to the front of all sports media, proving that women’s sports should not be thought of as less important.”

Annabel Nitekman, a freshman on Latin’s girls varsity basketball team, said, “I think she has brought attention not only to herself and Iowa, but to women’s basketball around the country.”

In this year’s NCAA Division 1 Women’s Basketball Tournament, the University of Iowa defeated Holy Cross, West Virginia, Colorado, Louisiana State University (LSU), and the University of Connecticut (UConn) before losing to South Carolina 75-87 in the championship match. This was Iowa’s second consecutive year playing in the championship.

Last year, LSU defeated Iowa in the championship match 102-85. In this year’s Elite 8 round, Iowa avenged their loss against LSU 94-87 in an eagerly anticipated rematch. Peaking at 16.1 million viewers, this game was the most-watched college basketball game in ESPN history. The following Sunday, Iowa’s game against South Carolina broke that record again, with a peak viewership of 24.1 million viewers. Despite their loss to South Carolina, Iowa’s rallying of excitement for women’s college basketball is undeniable.

Clark was recently crowned the 2024 Associated Press Women’s College Basketball Player of the Year and the Wooden Award National Player of the Year, both for the second consecutive year. She also holds the NCAA all-time scoring record with 3,951 points.

In the ESPN Championship post-game press conference, Caitlin said “People didn’t love us for our wins, I think they loved us for the way we played with one another, the joy we played with, the passion we played with, the competitive spirit we had, and the way we high-fived and celebrated our teammates’ successes. That’s the reason people loved turning on Iowa women’s basketball.”

In the same post-game interview, Iowa Coach Lisa Bluder said, “[Caitlin] has raised the excitement of our sport, there is no doubt, just because she does things in a different way. She is a great student, she is a great role model, and she loves being a role model.” She continued, “When she came in as a freshman and said, ‘We’re going to the Final Four’ … she got everyone else in that locker room to believe.”

Latin Girls Varsity Basketball Coach Max Rouse said, “As a coach, I most appreciate Clark’s ability to improve those around her. Over the last two years, [Caitlin’s] shooting and scoring from all areas of the floor have captivated audiences.” He continued, “What is more exciting still is that more people are becoming aware of the many great teams and outstanding players in the women’s game and how much fun the women’s tournament has become.”

This year’s championship game was the last time players Molly Davis, Kate Martin, Gabbie Marshall, Sharon Goodman, and Caitlin Clark would wear Iowa jerseys. In late February, Clark announced her decision to declare for the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) Draft instead of returning to Iowa for a fifth year.

At Iowa’s postseason basketball celebration, Iowa announced its decision to retire Caitlin Clark’s jersey number, meaning no other Iowa women’s basketball player would wear the number 22 again. Clark is the third Iowa women’s basketball player to have her jersey retired.

Upon the announcement, Caitlin said, “There have been a lot of good 22s to come before me and play for this program, whether it was Kathleen Doyle or Sam Logic, so that number holds a lot of weight, far beyond my name.”

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About the Contributors
Lizzy Miller
Lizzy Miller, Sports Editor
Lizzy Miller ('25) is a junior at Latin and is so excited to return to The Forum as a Sports Editor this year. This is Lizzy's second year writing for The Forum, and she loves highlighting the activities happening at Latin, whether that be arts or sports. Outside of The Forum, Lizzy is a member of the Student Service Learning Board and the Latin Student Investment Fund, and plays on the girls volleyball team. She is excited to continue writing for The Forum this year!
Sofia Grimm
Sofia Grimm, Digital Editor & News Editor
Sofia Grimm ('25) is delighted to serve her second year as Digital Editor and her first year as News Editor. Her third year writing for The Forum, Sofia has covered both international news with a focus on its impact on Latin and highlighted student talent. Outside of The Forum, Sofia is the founder of the Physics Club and co-head of the Model UN Team.

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