Iowa Guard Caitlin Clark is rewriting the history books of NCAA women’s basketball with a season that’s nothing short of legendary. From her jaw-dropping logo threes to shattering records across both the women’s and men’s basketball domains, Clark’s performance is earning her the spotlight and accolades coveted by many college athletes. Yet, to get these results, Clark has had to put in work that few would be willing to do. 

Who is  Caitlin Clark? 

From a young age, the Clark family knew that Caitlin would be special. The Des Moines native started playing basketball at age five; however, her parents couldn’t find a girls league for kids that young, so Clark started playing with the boys. One game, one of the bigger and stronger boys on the other team was playing extra physical. After a timeout, Clark took matters into her own hands. 

“She went right to this guy and put on the best downfield block that I have ever seen and rolled this kid out of bounds and stood over him.” Clark’s grandfather Bob Nizzi recalled to reporters. By the time she reached high school, it was clear she would be a force on the court for years to come. She would play varsity all four years at Dowling Catholic High School and would score the fourth most points and the sixth most threes in Iowa 5 on 5 girls’ basketball history. By the time Clark was ready to graduate and continue her career at the University of Iowa, she was a 5-star recruit and the fourth-ranked player in the class of 2020.  

A New Level 

Clark burst onto the scene as a freshman, starting in all thirty games while averaging over 26 points per game. She became the first freshman to win the  Dawn Staley Award, given to the best division one guard in the country. 

By the time she entered her senior year, she had been a two-time NCAA scoring and assist leader and a three-time Big Ten Player of the Year. She was also named to the First-team All-American team for three consecutive seasons. 

Over her last four years at Iowa, Clark began to change the landscape of women’s College basketball with something known as the Caitlin Clark effect. Because of Clark’s playmaking ability and shots like this,

college basketball fans have flocked by the thousands to watch her and her team play. 

Seventeen of the team’s 19 sellout games have happened in the last three seasons and all but two games in the 23-24 season have been sellouts or have broken attendance records. The 2024 Big Ten championship was the most viewed conference championship in the history of women’s basketball, with viewership skyrocketing to 4.450 million people when the game reached overtime. In the game, Clark had 34 points and helped lead the Hawkeyes to their third straight Big Ten Championship. 

Making History  

On February 15th, Clark became the all-time scoring leader in Women’s college basketball history, passing Kelsey Plum’s 3,527 career points on one of her famous logo threes.  Less than a month later, Clark would hold the title of the all-time scorer in NCAA history when she passed “Pistol Pete” Maravich’s record of 3,667 career points. After her record-breaking performance, she spoke to the fans directly, thanking them for how they have helped her and her teammates elevate women’s sports.   

“I mean that and I thank you,” Clark said. “This is special. I don’t know if you guys realize what you’re doing for women’s basketball and women’s sports in general, but you’re changing it. You’re helping us change it.”

It’s clear that Caitlin Clark is one of the best Women’s college basketball players of all time, but the question becomes what got her to this point. Clark’s natural talent is undeniable however, it’s her work in the gym that puts her over the edge. 

This summer, Clark gave fans a window into her off-season workout routine, which included 300 shots on top of conditioning. 

In our society, we tend to only focus on the end results and not the work it takes to get there. Caitlin Clark shows us that greatness has a price, the question becomes, are we willing to pay it?