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Iowa Women’s Basketball Sensation Clark Is Must-See TV, Even for NBA-Best Boston Celtics

Iowa Women’s Basketball Sensation Clark Is Must-See TV, Even for NBA-Best Boston Celtics

Iowa women's basketball star Caitlin Clark cuts a piece of the net after the Hawkeyes reached the NCAA Final Four by beating LSU in Albany, N.Y., on April 1, 2024. (Mary Altaffer/AP Photo)

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

4/2/2024

Updated: 4/2/2024

CHARLOTTE, N.C.—After the Boston Celtics beat the Charlotte Hornets 118–104 on Monday night, the focus of the NBA’s best team quickly turned to something else. They watched Caitlin Clark and the final minutes of Iowa’s victory over Louisiana State in the Elite Eight of the women’s NCAA Tournament.
With the volume on the television cranked up, 10 Celtics players sat in a row at their lockers icing their feet, and intently watching the finish of Clark’s performance that featured nine 3-pointers and 41 points as Iowa reached the Final Four with a 94–87 win in Albany, N.Y.
“How many 3s does she have?” one player asked.
When told it was nine, he shook his head and responded, “Man, that girl can ball.”
“Caitlin Clark is stealing the show of basketball, not only in the women’s game but also the men’s game,” Celtics forward Sam Hauser said. “She’s just really good. And she’s definitely worth the watch.”
It wasn’t until the waning seconds of the game when Iowa had sealed a win that players finally changed out of their game uniforms and headed for the showers, still talking about Clark’s exploits.
Clark is the NCAA Division I all-time scoring leader and will enter the Final Four with 3,900 career points.
Hauser recalled plenty of nights when NBA players sat at their lockers tuned into the men’s NCAA Tournament—many watching and cheering for their own schools—but rarely when they were so locked in to a women’s game.
“I remember UConn dominating for years, but now it’s a more even playing field in women’s basketball,” Hauser said. “And [Clark] has just grabbed everyone’s interest for sure.”
By Steve Reed
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