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Caitlin Clark’s Indiana Fever Debut Drew a Record Crowd

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Photo: Brian Spurlock/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

While the basketball player’s history-making Iowa Hawkeyes days may be behind her, the Caitlin Clark Effect is still in full swing. On Thursday night, more than 13,000 people — many wearing jerseys with Clark’s number, 22, on them — filled the stands of the Gainbridge Fieldhouse in Indianapolis to see Clark play her first WNBA preseason game with the Indiana Fever.

The crowd went wild when Clark scored her first basket seven minutes before the first quarter ended, and the excitement only grew as she kept scoring. “I don’t remember a crowd like that all last year,” Fever coach Christie Sides told reporters after her team beat the Atlanta Dream 83-80. Indiana averaged just over 4,000 fans at every home game during the 2023 regular season, meaning Thursday’s crowd was almost three times larger, a preseason attendance record for the team.

“It’s pretty incredible,” Clark told reporters after the game. “Thirteen thousand at a preseason game is pretty unheard of.” She ended the game with 12 points, eight rebounds, and six assists, a performance she described as not “that effective.” According to CNN, Clark had a tough night shooting — making four of 12 baskets from the field and two of nine from deep — but she did find the positive in her performance, saying, “I thought more than anything, I did a really good job of passing the ball, finding my teammates.”

Clark was the WNBA’s No. 1 overall draft pick this year after breaking several records during her final season at the University of Iowa, including becoming the NCAA Division I all-time leading scorer across men’s and women’s basketball. The Fever will officially start its season against the Connecticut Sun on Tuesday night before taking on the New York Liberty — another team that’s shown just how much people love women’s basketball — on May 16.

Related

  • Everything You Need to Know About Caitlin Clark
  • Caitlin Clark Is Set to Sign a Historic $28 Million Nike Deal

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Tariro Mzezewa , 2024-05-10 19:06:26

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